Officers, Dispatchers Praised for Professionalism in Keeping Campus Safe

A woman wearing a dress, a man in a suit and four men in police uniforms pose for a photo Image by UMass Lowell Police
UMass Lowell Police Department members, from left, Arielle Ebode-Messi, Frank Sullivan, Ryan Cassidy, Richard D'Auria, Brian Ethier and Bill Emmons were among those recognized at the annual awards ceremony at University Crossing.

By Ed Brennen

Although the campus was quieter than usual over the past year and a half because of the pandemic, the UMass Lowell Police Department was still working around the clock to ensure a safe environment for students, faculty and staff.

Police Chief Randolph Brashears recognized eight members of his department for their outstanding performance at UMLPD’s annual awards program, held recently at University Crossing.

Officer Brian Ethier received the department’s highest honor, the Silver Star Award, for his heroic, off-duty rescue of eight neighbors from their burning home in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, in August 2020. Ethier’s teenage son, Colby, who woke up his dad to alert him to the fire, was also recognized with a Citizens Award.

Six members of the department received Chiefs Awards for Dedicated Service:

  • Dispatcher Arielle Ebode-Messi, for her expert use of the campus security camera system.
  • Asst. Security Supervisor Shawn Paradise, for his work in managing and maintaining the department’s T3 Security Vehicle Program — the electric, three-wheeled personal vehicles used to patrol campus.
  • Officer Bill Emmons, for assisting the Lowell Police Department in apprehending a suspect.
  • Officers Ryan Cassidy and Richard D’Auria and Sgt. Frank Sullivan, for apprehending an individual, without incident, who was resisting arrest.

Brashears also awarded a Chiefs Award for Administration to his assistant, Sally Thrasher, for “her work in keeping things running smoothly during the pandemic and while working remotely four days a week.”

A man in a suit presents a certificate to a police officer while a woman and another officer look on Image by UMass Lowell Police
UMass Lowell Police Chief Randolph Brashears, second from left, recognizes Sgt. Frank Sullivan and Officer Richard D'Auria during the ceremony.

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Steven O’Riordan opened the program by thanking the department for its professionalism and commending the leadership of Brashears, who oversees 30 sworn officers and a team of dispatchers headquartered at University Crossing.

In his remarks, Brashears noted the growing national discussion around police reform following the murder of George Floyd.

UMLPD and local law enforcement, Brashears said, were committed to “securing and upholding the constitutional rights of all citizens, including students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

Following the release of UML’s annual security report, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney credited “our highly professional police department” for making the university “an incredibly safe place to live, learn and work.”

Brashears also spoke at the Lowell Police Academy’s graduation ceremony, held recently at the Tsongas Center.

UMLPD Officer Dan McPhillips served as a staff training officer for the academy’s Class of 2021, leading 27 student officers through the six-month program.