The Lehigh University Police Department has honored Cpl. Anthony Gallagher as the Ninth Annual Police Officer of the Year. Gallagher, a six-year member of the LUPD, was chosen by a committee of representatives from across the university community.
LUPD Chief Ed Shupp commended Gallagher’s dedication to campus safety through his supervision of the Community Police Unit, which debuted in January 2010.
“The unit’s presence continues to positively impact the safety of the university and the surrounding community,” said Shupp, “and Cpl. Gallagher has played a significant role in the success of that program.”
Gallagher also initiated the Hawk Watch block watch program, and oversees its training and administration. And he handles safety education programs that include Defensive Tactics and the R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) program, which are drawing the highest rates of participation in years.
“All of these efforts,” Shupp said, “involve a great deal of time and dedication, particularly on top of the significant demands of his role as supervisor of the Community Police Unit.”
A genuine interest in students
“It is a great honor to receive this recognition,” said Gallagher, who credited the hard work and dedication of Officers John Torres, Rich Holmes, Greg Nolf and Matt Hyman of the Community Policing Unit.
“We are all proud to work with the Lehigh community and we promise to continue our mission of providing a safe and secure environment, while enhancing the quality of life for students and residents of South Bethlehem.”
In supporting Gallagher’s nomination for the award, Mary Jo McNulty, a human resources associate and member of the selection committee, commented on Gallagher’s consummate professionalism.
“He is always polite, positive and respectful,” she said.
Ozzie Briener, director of residential services, said Gallagher’s approach to his role in the community is helping students understand that “our police officers are there to help, not harass our students.”
Tom Dubreuil, associate dean of students, said Gallagher’s collaborative spirit, openness and ability to connect with students have led to better campus relationships.
“Students know him and trust him, and he treats them with respect,” he said. “He really does care about students and he wants to see them be successful.”
After graduating from Moravian College in 1997 with a degree in criminal justice, Gallagher served with the Palmerton Police Department and joined the LUPD in 2006. His responsibilities include patrol and investigative work, as well as participation in community outreach programs such as the LUPD’s highly successful Christmas-season Shop with a Cop program, which raises funds for local families in need.
Photo by Douglas Benedict