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October 21, 2013

University Police officer honored with state awards

PLATTSBURGH — When SUNY Plattsburgh University Police Officer Robert Light talks to children about bicycle safety, he often shows them a mangled bicycle — one he was riding when it collided with a Jeep.

That day in 2001, he was biking on Route 374 in Dannemora when the Jeep, driving ahead of him, made a left turn into a driveway and then backed out again.

Light has been told his bike collided with the vehicle; he has no memory of the accident.

He was in the hospital for 10 days and underwent nine months of physical therapy during his recovery, he said.

The reason he survived, Light tells his young listeners, was likely because he was wearing a helmet.

TWO STATE AWARDS

For his efforts is educating youngsters on bike safety, Light has been honored with two state service awards.

In May, at Lake Placid Elementary School, he accepted the New York State Bicycle Coalitions’ 2013 Law Enforcement Bicycling Champion Award.

And he was recently recognized at SUNY Plattsburgh for the distinction.

Light’s Bicycle Coalition award was the first won by an individual police officer, said University Police Chief Arlene Sabo.

Later in the ceremony, Light was surprised with another honor he did not expect to receive, the New York State University Police Professional Service Award.

”(You) threw a little curve ball at me,” he said as he received the award.

”This award is based upon acts that have greatly enhanced the operation of the University Police,” Sabo said.

University Police Assistant Chief Jerry Lottie said the department just recently received word from the State University of New York Police Chiefs’ Association award committee that Light had won the Professional Service Award.

He will formally accept it at a ceremony in Albany in November.

’REACHING HUNDREDS’

Lottie said Light’s efforts have made the North Country a safer place.

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