Officer Angelene Colas was among 11 law enforcement officers to receive an officer of the year award at the 17th annual law enforcement appreciation day ceremony held Tuesday, May 9 at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center.
Colas, who has been a public safety officer for the College since June 2015, was nominated by Tressa Setlak, director of public safety.
“Her job performance, leadership initiatives, customer service skills and teamwork approach to public safety are more than a benefit to our organization and we are lucky to have her; she helps set the standard high,” Setlak wrote in a nomination letter.
Law enforcement appreciation day is put together each year by the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services, along with Triad/SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together).
As a public safety officer, Colas and her colleagues are the law enforcement of the College handling routine patrolling, emergency medical response, investigations and community policing. Colas and her colleagues also assist local law enforcement when needed.
Colas, the senior officer on the evening shift, is one of two officers certified in rape aggression defense (RAD) and like all the public safety officers on campus, she is certified in CPR/first aid.
Setlak explained that Colas is one of the friendliest people she knows and she sees Colas come to work each day “with a smile on her face and a happy greeting for her co-workers.”
That “quick and engaging smile” helps foster positive relationships with students, faculty and staff at St. Mary’s College, Setlak said.
Setlak explained that students describe Officer Colas as “fair and compassionate.”
Prior to working at the College, Colas worked with the Department of Homeland Security while pursuing her bachelor’s degree from Brown Mackie College and then a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Walden University.
Setlak said Colas is often assisting new officer hires, is quick to volunteer for community outreach opportunities on and off campus and she is “all in” no matter the task.
“Colas demonstrates her enthusiasm for and commitment to the field of public safety and the campus population daily,” Setlak said.
After the event last week, Colas posed for photos with fellow officers of the year followed by photos with family and co-workers. She said she enjoyed working with faculty and staff as well as her fellow officers at St. Mary’s College.
Colas resides in Great Mills with her wife, sister and nephews.