Officer honored for action in the line of duty

Police Service Officer John Bessey was honored by Penn State University Police with a Performance Recognition Certificate on Friday, Dec, 16. The award was presented for excellence in performance of his duties on Oct. 8.

On that date, Bessey was assigned to one of the squads on the field for crowd control in Beaver Stadium at the end of the Penn State vs. Ohio State football game. Bessey's squad was deployed in front of the student section. At one point, a section of railing gave way, causing a large number of fans and police staff to fall onto the field.

One of the police officers, Don Reed, was working along the rail in the vicinity of the section in an attempt to keep the crowd moving out of the portals. When the section of railing gave way, Reed was part of the initial crowd who tumbled onto the field. There was a surge of fans that continued to enter the field through this opening. Bessey quickly went to Reed's aid and pulled him out of the crowd. According to Penn State University Police, "Bessey's quick and decisive action most likely saved Reed from serious injury, and is a tribute to his service to the University community."

Bob Rehrer, chief of Police Services at Penn State Berks, said, "We are very proud of Officer Bessey and pleased that he has received this recognition. This is the first time in over a decade that an officer at Penn State Berks has been recognized with such an honor."

Bessey began working as a Police Services officer at Penn State Worthington Scranton in 1986 and came to Penn State Berks in 1994. He is a Penn State alumnus, earning an associate degree in business administration.

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Last Updated March 20, 2009