15:56 PM

UHDPD Welcomes New Officers, Awards Commendations

Three New Officers Sworn In, Six Honored for Life-Saving Feats


By Cynthia Gonzales

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) Police Department recently recognized six officers for their life-saving efforts and swore-in three new police officers.

The ceremony took place February 15 in the TDECU Tour Room in the University's Welcome Center and was well-attended by police personnel, UHD Staff and family members of those being recognized.

Five police officers and one security officer received commendations for their life-saving efforts last October when, in two separate incidents, they were able to save two individuals from ending their lives on the Main Street Bridge.

"You've heard the words 'going above and beyond the call of duty' all of the time," said UHD Police Chief Michael Benford, "These six individuals here today indeed did that."

The Officers recognized were, Sgt. Imelda Rodgriguez, Officers Matthew Muñoz, Hector Gutierrez, Vincent Wilkins, Tabitha Rivera and Security Officer Gil Limon.

Each received the Chief of Police Commendation for Heroism Award.

Additionally, three new police officers also were sworn-in at the ceremony. The UHD Police Department newcomers are Sgt. Casey Davis and Officers Deionne Jackson and Ronald Cooks. All three police officers delivered heartfelt words of thanks to their family, friends and colleagues in attendance.

After the officers were sworn-in, Chief Benford gave the incoming officers a brief pep talk.

"As you take on this responsibility it's also important to know why we do what we do, why we serve," said Benford. "In the simplest form, service is providing something for others without any expectations, rewards or recognition. Service also give us the opportunity to help someone who may not be able to help themselves."

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.