Wednesday, August 12, 2015

UIS Police Chief Don Mitchell honored with the Patriot Award for supporting military employees

University of Illinois Springfield Police Chief Don Mitchell was presented with the Patriot Award from the U.S. Department of Defense and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) for his efforts to support military employees on August 12, 2015.

Mitchell was nominated by UIS Police Officer Martin Lyke, who is also a Staff Sergeant in the Army Reserve.

"Chief Don Mitchell is more than just a great employer, he is a great American. He understands the importance of our military and openly welcomes current military members to be a part of his department,” said Lyke.

Upon applying to become a police officer, Lyke was warned not to disclose his military status in initial interviews by officers from other departments. His military service was never an issue with Chief Mitchell.

“He was excited that I was still serving my country and guaranteed his support while I work at UIS. He provides me compensation and time off for military training and regularly checks on my family,” he added.

Mitchell served in the Army himself and also has a son that served. He has supported multiple UIS Police officers in fulfilling their military obligations.

“His efforts go above and beyond what is expected for an employer; and for that, he deserves the Department of Defense Patriot Award,” said Lyke.

The ESGR Patriot Award recognizes a supervisor for supporting National Guard and Reserve members. Any member of the National Guard and Reserve is eligible to nominate a supervisor for the award.

Three other UIS employees have received the Patriot Award in the last three years, including Kevin Beeson, Scott Fay, and former employee Keith McMath.

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