UMass Dartmouth's Police Department and Computing and Information Technology Services (CITS) Department received awards from the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA) at its 26th Annual Awards Ceremony held Thursday, December 19, 2013. The awards recognized both departments' dedication and contributions as part of the campus wide response immediately following the Boston Marathon bombing.
The police department received the "Outstanding Dedication and Contribution" award for its outstanding support to the Massachusetts State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the entire UMass Dartmouth campus community after the Marathon Bombing incident. The award recognizes the department's response from the onset of the information that linked one of UMass Dartmouth's students to the bombing to the assistance in the ensuing investigation that involved multiple local, state, and federal agencies.
"An incident such as this one puts law enforcement to the ultimate test," offered UMass Dartmouth Director of Public Safety Emil Fioravanti. "The Police Department performed extremely well throughout the entire crisis and beyond, displaying the best of UMass Dartmouth. The law enforcement community and the university community as a whole have good reason to be proud."
CITS was presented with an award for "Outstanding Contribution by a Supporting Agency" for the department's work on April 19th and the days and weeks following. The university webpage experienced 120,000 hits in a short period of time, which caused an immediate emergency reconfiguration of the website. In addition, CITS helped meet the on-scene IT support need following the creation of two Command Posts, one being at UMass Dartmouth and the other at Carriage Lane in New Bedford.
"The support provided by CITS was a critical factor in every facet of the initial emergency response and investigative components of this once in a life time incident," said UMass Dartmouth Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology Donna Massano. "We are proud to have in place a dedicated and professional team that can be depended on in such times of critical and immediate need."
In May, following the Marathon Bombing, the Boston office of the FBI lauded UMass Dartmouth's efforts. "The FBI greatly appreciates the actions taken by your administration and the campus police department to ensure the safety of the students, faculty, staff and neighboring community."
This past September UMass Dartmouth students planted a ceremonial gingko peace tree at the UMass Dartmouth Track Field during the opening ceremony of the UMass Dartmouth Shriners Cross Country Invitational. The tree was planted in honor of those killed and wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing and the brave medical and public safety officials who were on scene during the April 15th attack. Students have also organized candlelight vigils, raised money, and also organized a Torch Relay from Dartmouth to Boston, which raised $7,500 for One Fund Boston.
MACLEA is a professional, non-profit organization concerned with the administration of law enforcement and security programs on the campuses of Massachusetts educational institutions. Formed in 1978, the organization currently has 117 members from 68 campus law enforcement agencies within Massachusetts.