The Urbana Police Division was presented with the 2016-2017 Alicia Titus Memorial Award Thursday.
This year Urbana Police will hold the award for six months and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office will hold it for the following six months.
Alicia Titus was killed in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Titus was a flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
The Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund was started in 2002 by her parents John and Bev Titus in memory of Alicia Titus.
Mr. Titus said a few years ago the peace fund wanted to involve local first responders in The Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Run. The peace fund also wanted to present an award to the agency with the most participants in the run.
“The award should be something that’s really dear to our hearts and it was sent right after September 11th to the families of 9/11 victims by an anonymous steel worker that cut it out of the beams of the World Trade Center,” Mr. Titus said. “We mounted it, put a plaque on it and dedicated it showing where it came from. It’s a traveling trophy that we will give to whoever has the most participants in the run each year.”
Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell, who participated in this year’s run, said the peace fund helped the division’s Safety Town program last year through a donation. Lingrell said this was in the spirit of Alicia Titus by reaching and teaching children.
Champaign County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jason Byers also participated in this year’s run.
Mr. Titus said being involved with local first responders mean a lot to the peace fund.
“The ones in our community help maintain the peace in the community and we want to reinforce that, we want to support that and we want them to be a part of our initiative,” Mr. Titus said. “It’s all about community building and about learning to communicate better with the community and running programs for the kids to help them look at first responders with respect knowing that they’re there to support them.”
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.