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Arlington Campus Police Sergeant Judy Mead Named Employee of Month

Reprinted from The Mason Gazette, January 5, 2009

By Catherine Ferraro

Judy Meade
Judy Meade
Photo by Creative Services
"This award doesn't really go to me," says Judy Meade, sergeant in the University Police Department, reflecting on her status as January's Mason Employee of the Month. "I share this award with all the people I work with, and it is an honor to be recognized for the work we do."

Based on her colleagues' comments, putting the welfare of others before her own is something that comes naturally for Meade.

Meade and her team of five officers are in charge of making sure the day-to-day operations on the Arlington Campus run smoothly. They are also responsible for the safety of the students, faculty and staff in the campus' three buildings.

"I have found Judy to be not only exceedingly helpful, capable and reliable, but also a take-charge initiator who puts the well-being of the campus and all those who work and study here as her first priority," says Karen Newman, director of administrative services in the School of Law.

According to Meade, there is not a typical day in the University Police Department. There are days when the campus is quiet and nothing major happens and other days when something happens that requires immediate attention.

Meade says that the basic goal of all policing is knowing the community. In fact, Meade makes a point of knowing everyone in the community and keeping herself abreast of what is happening on campus.

"She takes pride in providing the best possible aid and protection to our campus and instilling that sense of pride in the other officers," says Rusty O'Connor, office manager in the School of Law.

Her colleagues also note that Meade demonstrates a strong sense of teamwork. She has offered to check with Arlington County on the status of campus perimeter street light outages, lent her advice on the location and number of future security cameras and provided counsel on security measures related to campus construction.

Meade says that one of the most enjoyable aspects of her job is the opportunity to meet new people every day. For example, she has met actors Carol Burnett and Gregory Peck and several Supreme Court justices while on the job.

When she found out she had been chosen as the employee of the month, Meade says she was in shock because she had never heard of a police officer being recognized with the honor.

"Being a police officer is sometimes a thankless job, but when I found out that I had been chosen as employee of the month I felt extremely proud because it is a great tribute to the people I work with," says Meade.

Meade joined Mason about 16 years ago after serving as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. When she first came to Mason, she worked at the Fairfax Campus, then the Prince William Campus. She has been at the Arlington Campus for the past three years.

In her free time, Meade enjoys volunteering for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.