Officer Kyle Nathan Henricksen has received the 2019 Mark Dunakin Award for Extraordinary Achievement. Union Institute & University presents the award to a graduate of the Criminal Justice Management undergraduate program.
The Mark Dunakin Memorial Award honors the memory of Sergeant Dunakin, a UI&U student who tragically lost his life at age 40. He and three other Oakland police officers were killed in the line of duty on March 21, 2009. The award is presented to a new graduate of the UI&U Criminal Justice Management major who serves in law enforcement and who emulates Sergeant Dunakin’s commitment to community service, academic success, and enthusiasm for the major.
The faculty chose Officer Henricksen as an example of someone who displayed extraordinary achievement throughout his undergraduate program. He not only works hard and maintains high standards, but shows a deep commitment to serving others in his community and beyond. He received the award at the California Commencement on July 21, 2019.
About Officer Henricksen
Officer Henricksen is a 10-year member of the Pleasanton Police Department (PPD) and a former deputy with Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO). With nearly 14 years of experience, he currently serves as Secretary for the Pleasanton Police Officers Association (POA). He is known there for his uncanny understanding of the law, departmental rules, union contracts, and professional protocol. Colleagues also say he’s infamous as a quick-witted, irredeemable jokester.
He completed the police academy at age 22, overcoming a broken foot during training to graduate on time. Immediately upon graduation he started his career with the ACSO, where he was assigned to the Alameda County Jail.
In 2009, he transferred to Pleasanton Police Department where he has served on patrol and joined the motors unit. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers recognized Officer Henricksen for his dedication to reducing drunk driving incidences in 2014.
An Officer and a Family Man
A consummate professional, Officer Henricksen is a dedicated father, husband, son, uncle, brother, and friend. He and his wife Jennifer serve as parents not only to their two biological children, but also to Jennifer’s younger sister and Kyle’s niece. The #Henricksen6, as they call themselves, spend their time shuttling among the children’s many sports activities and school events.
With the support of his wife and children, Officer Henricksen sought to fulfill a promise he made to himself, his parents, and his wife by completing his undergraduate education. In 2018, while remaining a fulltime member of the PPD, he was admitted to Union Institute & University where he majored in Criminal Justice Management. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA.
In addition to all of this, Officer Henricksen is currently fighting stage IV pancreatic cancer and undergoing experimental treatments. A true testament to his extraordinary character, Officer Henricksen maintained a full-time academic load after diagnosis and remains an active father and Secretary to the Pleasanton POA. Every day Officer Henricksen demonstrates that he will not not let his diagnosis define or limit him.
Fellow officer Ryan Tujague wrote the following: “Kyle is an amazing person and his family have this bond that you truly rarely see. Kyle is also the secretary for our POA. He continues to hold this position while he is battling pancreatic cancer; traveling to Stanford, getting treatment, attending his kids’ athletic events, and finishing his education. Kyle clearly has lot on his plate and he still answers his phone to answer POA questions from officers and other board members. He is well loved within our department.”
Past Award Recipients
Past recipients of the Union Institute & University Mark Dunakin Memorial Award for Extraordinary Achievement are:
- 2011 – Isabel Resendez
- 2013 – Frederick Henry Bobbitt Jr. and Tony Silva
- 2015 – Ray Framstad
- 2016 – Sergio Lepe
- 2017 – Orrlando Mayes
- 2018 – Heather Forsythe
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