UC Health Public Safety Officer Receives International Volunteer Award

By Elizabeth Beilman

If you work at UC Health, there’s a good chance you’ve met Bob Thinnes.

He’s the public safety officer you can find at every “Pastries with Public Safety” event. Perhaps you’ve served on a UC Health committee with him. Or maybe you’ve just had a friendly conversation with him in the hallway.

But even if you don’t work at UC Health, there’s a chance you still may know Bob. The community relations officer has been volunteering for numerous local boards and organizations for more than three decades—not to mention several of UC Health committees, too.

A UC Health employee for the last six years, this self-proclaimed “volunteer nut” has impacted countless lives.

Bob’s lifelong service to his community recently earned him the 2019 ASIS International E.J. Criscuoli Volunteer Leadership Award, a prestigious honor bestowed to one member of the security management organization’s 34,000 members across the globe. This award honors a member who has made significant contributions to their chapter and the security profession throughout their career. Over the last 30 years, Bob has spearheaded outreach programs that have served more than 2,000 meals to homeless individuals since 1990.

For Bob, that’s just the beginning.

We asked public safety officer about his life of volunteerism and service.

Q: First of all, can you tell us all the organizations where you volunteer?

A: Crime Stoppers, Tender Mercies, St. Joseph Orphanage, Associate Police Captains Christmas program, Fraternal Order of Police Associates, Hamilton County Police Association, ASIS International Tri-State Chapter Security Association, Nate’s Toy Box and a few others.

Q: You spend much of your free time volunteering. What drives you to dedicate yourself to volunteerism?

A: I enjoy helping others. When you do good for others, many times you receive just as much positive as the person helped. The happiest people in the world are those who volunteer and contribute to the well-being of others.

Q: For the last 31 years, you have served on the local board for Crime Stoppers, an organization that allows citizens to safely and anonymously report crime tips. How has this particular role affected your perspective on the role of communities?

A: I joined the board on March 31, 1989, exactly one year before I got married. The partners are the media, law enforcement and the community. About 50% of the homicides solved in the region have at least one Crime Stopper call come in with some information. Networking with other like-minded persons who care about the community and want to do something to reduce crime is rewarding.

Q: What got you interested in the security and the public safety field?

A: In 1982, I took an intro to law enforcement class in college and never looked back. Helping others was the key to staying in the field 37 years.

Q: What makes you wake up and excited to come to work at UC Health every day?

A: I have been fortunate to work for some very good bosses. Alan Jones, the divisional director, has encouraged me to engage in several committees and multiple projects. Andy Miller, my present manager at Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, also supports these extra value added activities.

I really enjoy thinking outside the box to come up with new ideas and concepts that promote the Public Safety Department and improve employee engagement. During the recent United Way campaign, we came up with a putt-putt competition on property with free coffee for three consecutive Fridays. It was implemented so employees from first shift arriving could participate and third shift employees leaving also would have the opportunity to win prizes. Many companies would say ‘let’s just do what we did last year’ and not exceed the employee’s expectations.

Q: What does it mean to you to receive this award?

A: It is an honor and humbling just to be considered. Without great management at UC Health and vision from superiors, this would not have ever been accomplished. This is a high honor.

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