By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury resident Kevin Weigold, a police officer with the Worcester State University Police Department (WSUPD), recently was awarded the Sean Collier Award for Innovations in Community Oriented Policing by the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA). The honor was presented at a ceremony held Dec. 15 at the Doubletree Hotel in Leominster.
The award is named after Collier, the MIT police officer who was killed in the line of duty while confronting the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in the days following the attack.
Awardees must display a strong commitment to their campus community, a passion for crime prevention, and contributions to the development of community policing programs, community relationship building and strong partnerships.
Weigold has worked with the WSUPD for over 18 years. Originally from Brockton, Weigold, and his wife Karen, have made Shrewsbury their home and raised three children there; two – Shaun and Kevin, Jr. – are Shrewsbury firefighters. Daughter Tabitha is a nurse in Rhode Island.
Previously, Weigold worked for 22 years with the ground crew of Delta Airlines and a few years off and on as a part-time special officer with the Shrewsbury Police Department. He took early retirement and went to work at Worcester State University before joining their police department.
Current WSUPD Chief Jason Kapurch, then an officer, knew of Weigold’s background and suggested that he join the university’s police force. Weigold , who was 42 at the time, was rather reluctant. However, after some encouragement, he enrolled in the State Police Academy. Undeterred by being the oldest in his class, he finished seventh among 38 officer candidates. He has served as an officer ever since.
“After working with Delta Airlines with high stress I just wasn’t interested in advancement, I just wanted to do my job,” Weigold shared. He is happy to watch the younger officers further their careers which speaks to his giving nature.
He was very surprised and honored to be selected out of several hundred campus officers throughout the state.
“We had no idea,” Karen Weigold said.
Weigold found about the honor when he was called into the chief’s office Dec. 4.
“You’ve done so much for this department,” Kapurch told him. “It’s not just what you’ve done in the last year but what you’ve done in the last 18 years.”
Weigold’s exceptional professionalism includes spearheading the holiday event, Stuff a Cruiser, which collects presents for children in need; representing WSUPD in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics; and his support of autism awareness through the National Light It Up Blue event at UMass. He also recently participated in a 5k run honoring fallen Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr.
When not helping people or working, Weigold can be found spending time with his seven grandchildren or in his garage building cars. He is currently working on a ’32 Ford Coupe and a ’48 Ford Angler that he drove in the Spirit of Shrewsbury Parade.