NEW PALTZ — Two police officers from the State University of New York at New Paltz were honored recently in Lake Placid, New York during the spring 1999 SUNY Chief’s Meeting. Officer Donald Seablom and Sergeant Robert Maines were the recipients of the 1998/1999 State University Police award for heroism and professionalism in police service.
Each year the State University of New York bestows just two of these awards. Candidates are nominated by 32 SUNY system components with University Police and Security Service personnel. Though SUNY New Paltz officers have previously been named finalists, this is the first time the College has received the distinguished award.
Seablom and Maines were selected for exemplary conduct and professionalism while attempting to save the life of student Peter Grassi, who died in August 1998 after suffering from acute respiratory distress. Chief of University Police, Richard Barnhart, pointed out that “the rescue squad personnel and paramedics commented that the only reason Peter was still alive when they arrived on the scene was due to the efforts put forth by these two officers.”
“Officers Seablom and Maines’ actions were especially significant,” stated Barnhart. “They were the first to be at the scene and their response was immediate and without hesitation. They administered CPR and chest compressions in an attempt to save this student’s life.”
At the SUNY Chief’s Meeting, both officers were decorated with a ribbon to wear on their uniforms. The citation plaque they received now hangs on the wall of the University Police office. Chief Barnhart also attended the award ceremony.
Both awardees are long-time members of the New Paltz campus police force. Seablom, who resides in Rosendale, is a senior patrol officer who has been on the force for 23 years. Maines, a Kingston resident, has been with the force for 19 years.