University Officers Honored for Heroic Rescue

University Officers Honored for Heroic Rescue


Two SUNY Cortland university police officers will receive national recognition for successfully administering CPR to a visiting parent who had stopped breathing and had no pulse.

Officers David Coakley and Adam Koehler ’07 will be awarded the 2011 International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) Award for Merit Thursday, June 17, at the IACLEA 53rd Annual Conference and Exposition in Charlotte, N.C.

The Award for Merit is one of three major honors presented at the conference. It recognizes campus public safety, police or security officers “who each day display professionalism and excellence in performing their duties or whose actions and attitude bring credit to the campus law enforcement community,” according to an awards description.

David Coakley
David Coakley

“Having officer David Coakley and officer Adam Koehler selected to be the recipients of the award is an honor,” said Steven Dangler, chief of police at SUNY Cortland. “The professionalism and excellence in performance of duty exhibited by both officers is reflective of all New York state university police officers.”

The SUNY Cortland police officers responded with quick-thinking heroics on May 2, 2010.

In the late afternoon, the father of a prospective student was reported non-responsive near the entrance of the Horak Training Facility adjacent to the Stadium Complex, according to the officers’ nomination. The victim, who had a pre-existing heart condition and a pacemaker, was not breathing and had no pulse when the officers showed up.

Coakley and Koehler performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the man until an ambulance arrived. While he was being transported, the man started to show signs of movement and his pulse returned.

“It is very likely that he would not have had as positive an outcome without the intervention of the officers,” Dangler stated in the nomination.

Adam Koehler
Adam Koehler

Coakley, from Cazenovia, N.Y., arrived at SUNY Cortland’s University Police Department in 2003, after he graduated from the Central New York Police Academy in Syracuse, N.Y. A 2002 graduate of SUNY Potsdam, Coakley is assigned to the dayshift and serves as one the College’s field training officers.

Koehler, a native of Cortland, began working for the University Police Department in 2010. A 2007 SUNY Cortland graduate, Koehler attended the Broome County Police Academy in Binghamton, N.Y. He is currently assigned to the department’s nightshift.

Earlier this year, SUNY Cortland’s University Police Department earned first-time accreditation from the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Council. The College’s sworn officers, with arrest powers, and civilian staff members serve on the 191-acre main campus and branch campuses.

The current student enrollment at SUNY Cortland is more than 7,000, with approximately 3,000 students residing in on-campus housing. Faculty and staff make up an additional 1,000 people who fall under the department’s jurisdiction while on campus.

In the course of their duties, university police officers conduct foot, bike and vehicular patrols and operate a dispatch desk 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When necessary, they work closely with other police agencies in Cortland County and New York state.