University, Fredonia officers to be honored for ‘bravery’
Three local police officers — Ian Hodkin of the State University of New York at Fredonia’s University Police Department, and Ben Kravitz and Michael Hodkin, both of the Village of Fredonia Police Department — will receive awards for actions they took to de-escalate a potentially deadly incident.
The officers responded to a late night 9-1-1 call on Dec. 5, 2019, that reported a male suspect was holding a weapon in his hand near the university’s Temple Street entrance.
Great restraint was exercised by the officers to address the threat posed by the suspect, according to Fredonia University Police Chief Brent Isaacson and Fredonia Police Chief Phil Maslak. Using verbal de-escalation techniques, while maintaining their cover behind their patrol vehicles, the officers convinced the suspect to comply with their commands to drop the weapon. He was taken into custody without injury to the officers or himself.
Upon his arrest, the suspect revealed that he had intended to commit “suicide-by-cop,” Isaacson said. The officers learned that the suspect, whom they found to be holding a very realistic revolver-style pellet gun, placed the 9-1-1 call to create the dangerous situation.
“The actions taken by these university and Fredonia police officers to help this person speak volumes about their professionalism, bravery and the care-taking approach they have for members of our campus and village community,” Isaacson said.
“I would also like to take a moment to commend these officers for their professionalism and their diligence in handling a potentially life-threatening incident,” Maslak said.
Officer Ian Hodkin will receive the New York State University Police Professional Service Award from the statewide SUNY Chiefs of Police Association. Officers Kravitz and Michael Hodkin will receive the Fredonia Police Department’s Meritorious Service Award.
Officer Michael Hodkin is in his 16th year of service with the village police department and Officer Kravitz is in his 11th year of service. Officer Ian Hodkin has served at UPD-Fredonia for four years. All officers will receive their awards on Tuesday.