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Exemplary service, compassion shine bright at annual awards banquet

Rodger Hacker is awarded at the DPS banquet

In a solemn and heartfelt ceremony, the University of Utah Department of Public Safety recently held its annual awards banquet, recognizing individuals whose unwavering dedication and outstanding contributions have significantly enhanced the safety and well-being of the university community.

Among the recipients, Sergeant Cody McGuire was posthumously awarded the Exemplary Performance Citation, a tribute to his outstanding leadership and commitment to the University of Utah Hospital.

Additionally, the stories of officers Justin Dial, Matt Feltenberger, Rodger Hacker, and Ryan Karren serve as shining examples of compassion, dedication, and the relentless pursuit of justice within the university’s public safety department.

“I regularly become aware of the many things members of our university public safety team are doing that are far above expectations,” said Chief Safety Officer Keith Squires. “They do it because of who they are and how much they care about helping others. This is our opportunity, once a year to celebrate all our great people and recognize some of their exceptional service and accomplishments. I’m very proud of our team and what we are accomplishing to keep our great community safe.”

Sergeant Cody McGuire – A legacy of leadership

The Exemplary Performance Citation awarded posthumously to Sergeant Cody McGuire stands as a testament to his remarkable contributions to the University of Utah Hospital. Serving as the leader of the Security Investigations Unit (SIU), Sergeant McGuire’s tenure was marked by professionalism, dedication, and outstanding achievements that elevated the unit’s performance and its contributions to patient care and staff safety. His innovative strategies for identifying and mitigating health security risks have left a lasting impact on creating a safer and healthier environment for patients and medical staff.

Though Sergeant McGuire is deeply mourned, his exemplary performance, leadership, and contributions will continue to inspire future generations of security professionals. The award serves as a reminder of the indelible mark he left on the organization and the community he served.

Justin Dial and Matt Feltenberger – Compassion in action:

Officers Justin Dial and Matt Feltenberger demonstrated exceptional compassion and service during an incident at the University Hospital cafeteria. Responding to a theft, they discovered a struggling mother of three small children who couldn’t afford food for her family due to personal circumstances. Going above and beyond their duty, the officers not only paid for several food items but also provided enough resources to sustain the family until their food stamps arrived. This act of kindness exemplifies the dedication and fantastic level of service that officers Dial and Feltenberger consistently deliver to the campus community.

Rodger Hacker – A beacon of compassion:

Rodger Hacker’s compassionate and proactive approach was highlighted on the first day of the Fall Semester. Recognizing a student in distress, he not only offered a listening ear but also took immediate action to connect her with the support she needed. This incident reflects Rodger’s consistent “can do” attitude, going above and beyond to create a safe and supportive environment for students within the Park Building.

Ryan Karren – Tenacious pursuit of justice:

Officer Ryan Karren’s dedication to justice was evident in his handling of a stolen vehicle case. Through meticulous investigation, he linked the suspect to multiple vehicle burglary cases on campus. Despite the suspect not having a known address, Officer Karren’s exhaustive efforts led to a well-executed operation plan, resulting in the apprehension of a serial burglar. His hard work and commitment have undoubtedly made the campus and surrounding community a safer place.

CSO Squires commended all of the award recipients for their excellent service and reiterated that realizing the department’s commitment to safety, justice, and compassion is a team effort only accomplished together.