New Paltz Officers Honored for 2020 P&Gs Stabbing Incident

Two UPD officers were honored by the New York Women in Law Enforcement in their March 2021 newsletter. They also were awarded the Professional Service Award. Photo Courtesy of SUNY New Paltz

Two SUNY New Paltz University Police Officers (UPD) were highlighted in the New York Women in Law Enforcement’s (NYWLE) March 2021 newsletter for their response to a stabbing outside of P&G’s in January 2020.

The NYWLE was founded in 2009 and aims to recruit and promote women in law enforcement. Every month the NYWLE newsletter will “spotlight” female officers who “have made an extraordinary achievement.” Nelson and Shaw were the first officers out of four in the March newsletter.

UPD Lt. William Shaw and Officer Mallory Nelson responded to a fight and a possible stabbing victim outside of P&G’s, on Jan. 24, 2020, at about 10 p.m. Several other officers were parked in front of the building to respond to the call but Shaw and Nelson noticed that the suspect was actually located around the side of the building being restrained by civilians. The officers gained control of the suspect, who had stabbed another person moments before, and brought him into custody.

That night, Lt. Shaw was acting as a Field Training Officer for Nelson, who had just graduated from the police academy a month prior. 

“Officer Nelson acted without hesitation to effectively secure the suspect’s legs and helped her partner effect the arrest,” read the newsletter. “The officers displayed a great team effort during this incident that highlighted the qualities necessary in order to have a positive outcome during a serious incident. The officers helped quell a very dangerous situation, not only to the stabbing victim and other bystanders but also to other officers responding to the scene.”

The officers were able to respond to the off-campus scene because UPD officers can make misdemeanor and felony arrests anywhere in the state and locally, UPD and the New Paltz Police Department have mutual aid agreements.

The mutual aid agreements allow UPD to offer support when needed, according to Lt. Shaw.  

“We have a vested interest in the community that surrounds SUNY New Paltz, and we often call upon other agencies to assist us as well,” Lt. Shaw said.

Lt. Shaw attributes his and Nelson’s fast reaction to UPD training tactics.

“University Police Officers across the state are among the most well trained and meet the highest standards of all Police Officers in New York,” Lt. Shaw said. “As the lead instructor of Defensive Tactics for University Police at New Paltz, I take pride in my agency staying current with use of force standards. Officer Nelson and I were able to quickly bring a dangerous situation under control with de-escalation, handcuffing and segmenting tactics learned in the basic academy.”  

The two officers were also honored with the 2020 SUNY Police Chiefs Association Awards in January for their actions. 

According to the SUNY New Paltz press release posted on Dec. 17, 2020, the SUNY Police Chiefs Association Awards UPD officers who have demonstrated the ability to respond appropriately to emergencies. The officers awarded have gone “above and beyond expectations.”

“The recognition of fellow Police Officers and myself for a job well done is very much appreciated,” Lt. Shaw said. “We are a part of this community and when dangerous situations arise it is nice to see the support to keep people safe.”

In January of this year Officer Nelson and Lt. Shaw received the Professional Service Award. 

About Nikki Donohue 88 Articles
Nikki Donohue is a fourth-year double major in history and journalism. This is her sixth semester with The Oracle. She has worked as a News Copy Editor and an Assistant Copy Editor.