IUSD’s security supervisor was honored this week by the Irvine Rotary Club in partnership with the Irvine Police Department for actions that led to the arrest of a burglary suspect last month.
Don Grudem, who joined the district as a campus control assistant in 1994, was presented with the Public Safety Partnership Award on Wednesday morning during a Rotary Club meeting at the Irvine Rancho Community Center.
“It is an honor to receive this award,” Grudem told the NewsFlash, “especially when it’s for doing your job.”
“You don’t set out to win awards,” he added. “You do your job because it’s what you love to do.”
Grudem was on the job at about 4:30 in the morning on Oct. 7 — which also happened to be his birthday — when he ran into a stranger exiting a classroom at Canyon View Elementary School. After a brief conversation, the quick-thinking supervisor took a photo of the man with his smartphone and contacted police.
The suspect fled the scene but was arrested about three hours later.
To recognize his vigilance, Grudem was presented with a framed certificate — he’s pictured holding it above — as well as a modest cash award. But there are even greater rewards for his daily work.
“The real honor for me is being part of this partnership with the community, the Irvine Police Department and our staff,” he said.