c s u police officers pose with children
CSU Police Commended for Bravery, Lifesaving Efforts


Members of California State University police departments are commended for heroism and lifesaving efforts.


The California State University honors several members of its University Police Department​ (UPD) with 2023 Police Commendations for bravely going above and beyond their normal duties in serving the public and bringing honor to themselves and the university.

“Safety is critical to the success of our students, and CSU officers are proud to serve their universities and beyond,” says CSU Council of Police Chiefs Chair Earl Lawson. “They are prepared to respond to emergencies, critical incidents, disasters and medical emergencies with community-oriented policing."

It is an honor to recognize the outstanding actions of these officers and thank them for the high level of service they provide their campus communities every day."

Read about the officers' commendable acts.

California State University, Monterey Bay

California State University, Monterey Bay

From left: CSU Monterey Bay Officer Joseph Cox, Sergeant Manuel Fernandez, CFO and Vice President of Administration and Finance Glen Nelson, President Vanya Quiñones, Chief of Police/Associate Vice President for Public Safety Earl Lawson, Corporal Heather Murphy, Officer Louis Deeb and Deputy Chief John Short. (Photo courtesy of CSUMB/Katherine Divas-Juarez.)
Officer Louis Deeb CSUMB Officer Louis Deeb

CSU Monterey Bay Officer Louis Deeb is receiving​​ a Lifesaving Medal for his quick response and adept decision-making under pressure.

Deeb responded to a traffic collision in August 2019 near the Seaside, California campus involving two vehicles, one of which was on fire. Deeb directed a bystander to use a fire extinguisher from a local bus company to put out the car’s flames while he moved the unconscious driver to a safe area. Deeb then performed a quick medical assessment and provided an update to incoming patrol, fire and ambulance units. The driver was treated at a local hospital.

CSUMB Corporal Heather Murphy CSUMB Corporal Heather Murphy

CSUMB Corporal Heather Murphy is receiving a Medal of Valor for her bravery and outstanding communication skills.

In August 2020, Pacific Grove police officers received reports of a woman who had been shot in her car, dragged out of her vehicle, physically assaulted and then had escaped and barricaded herself in a bakery. When officers arrived, the barricaded woman's assailant, also a woman, was lying on the ground threatening to shoot herself and they requested assistance from the region’s Special Response Unit Crisis Negotiations Team.

CSUMB's Corporal Murphy, a member of the response unit, quickly made contact with the distraught suspect and ultimately negotiated the woman’s surrender without further incident.

Deputy Chief John Short CSUMB Deputy Chief John Short

CSUMB Deputy Chief John Short is receiving a Lifesaving Medal for heroic efforts to save an overdose victim and put out a brush fire that could have threatened the campus.

In November 2021, an unhoused woman living in the woods near the campus called local police to report that her boyfriend had suffered a fentanyl overdose. The woman’s dogs began fighting as ​she tried to revive her boyfriend, knocking over a camp stove and starting a fire. Dispatchers had a hard time finding the pair due to the isolated area they were in, but thanks to regular foot patrols and extensive knowledge of the wooded area surrounding the campus, Short was able to locate the pair.

He administered two doses of Narcan to revive the overdose victim and performed CPR until fire and ambulance personnel arrived. In the meantime, the caller was able to extinguish the fire. Paramedics revived the overdose victim by administering an IV drip of Narcan and applying an automated external defibrillator (AED) before he was transported to the hospital.

California State University, Northridge

California State University, Northridge​

CSUN Corporal Ismael Granados (right), who has been honored with a 2023 CSU Police Commendation, pictured here with CSUN Sergeant Nick Canady.
Sergeant Andrew Higgins CSUN Sergeant Andrew ​Higgins

CSUN​ Sergeant Andrew Higgins, Corporal Ismael Granados and Officer Moises Mercado are receiving Lifesaving Medals for helping save the lives of two gunshot victims.

In October 2021, the Police Communications Center at CSUN received a 911 call from an individual who had been shot close to campus. Higgins, Granados and Mercado responded to the scene where they observed two gunshot victims on the ground. After securing the scene, Higgins used his experience as a certified first-aid instructor to direct and assist Granados and Mercado, and the three of them assessed the victims to determine the extent of their injuries to update incoming patrol, fire and ambulance units.

CSUN Officer Moises Mercado CSUN Officer Moises Mercado​

Both victims were shot in the upper leg and thigh areas, close to critical arteries, and required the use of tourniquets to stabilize their bleeding. Higgins, Mercado and Granados reassured the victims, keeping them alert and calm while they rendered lifesaving measures until personnel from the Los Angeles City Fire Department arrived and took over. Both victims were transported to the hospital and survived thanks to the quick actions of the three officers.

California State University, East Bay

California State University, East Bay

​​​​​Cal State East Bay Interim Lieutenant Michael Elder at a Bay Area Science Festival Discovery Day hosted by CSUEB.​

Cal State East Bay Interim Lieutenant Michael Elder is receiving a Meritorious Service Medal for his quick response and effective communication skills that defused a potentially dangerous situation.

In March 2022, Elder responded to reports of an ax-wielding man walking across the Bay Area campus who appeared to be under the influence of a drug or medication. Elder used his experience in tactical communication to speak to the man who eventually complied with him and dropped the ax. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident.

California State University Police Departments are implementing strategies to create even more inclusive and welcoming environments for students, faculty, staff and visitors. Learn more about this work.