Austin L. Sumners, Virginia Tech Police K-9 officer, has received the university’s 2018 President's Award for Excellence.
The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech employees who have made extraordinary contributions by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize.
Since Sumners joined Virginia Tech Police Department as a patrol officer in 2012, he has served the Virginia Tech community with distinction.
As an explosives detection K-9 officer, he is required to perform all the daily functions of a patrol officer. He also serves in many other capacities within the university, as well as assisting outside law enforcement agencies frequently. He works every major special event on campus that requires an explosives sweep of the venue.
While working patrol in October 2017, Sumners was dispatched to a rescue call at the Squires Student Center in reference to an unconscious male in a bathroom. He took immediate action to update additional officers and emergency medical personnel that were responding as well. He climbed over the wall of the stall, opened it from the inside and pulled the person from the stall in order to render lifesaving aid. Virginia Tech Rescue arrived on the scene shortly thereafter.
“Given the grave condition of the patient upon arrival and the challenging circumstances encountered to provide care, it is evident that Officer Sumners’ immediate response and life saving measures saved the person’s life,” wrote Lieutenant M.H. Palmer, patrol commander of Virginia Tech Police, in a letter of nomination.
— Written by Lindsey Grooms, Class of 2019