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Heaton honored with Patriot Award

South Dakota State University Police Department Chief Tim Heaton, left, displays his Patriot Award. Marc Rieger, a corporal with UPD, nominated Heaton after being allowed to leave on a recent deployment.
UPD Chief Tim Heaton, left, displays his Patriot Award. Marc Rieger, a corporal with UPD, nominated Heaton.

Tim Heaton, chief of the South Dakota State University Police Department, was honored Thursday with a Patriot Award.

The Patriot Award, which is awarded to an individual supervisor, reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence, when needed.

Marc Rieger, who has been a member of UPD since 2000, nominated Heaton. Rieger, a corporal at UPD, wanted to recognize Heaton for allowing him to serve on his deployment. Overall, UPD employs approximately 10 individuals who are either veterans or active military members.

The Patriot Award is granted by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program. ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.