Cash honored as friend of local community
Standing and talking outside IU Police Department Headquarters or moving among blue cloth-covered tables under a white tent Tuesday afternoon were several affluent members of the IU and Bloomington communities.
President Michael A. McRobbie, Mayor Mark Kruzan, IU Trustees MaryEllen Bishop and Philip Eskew and multiple uniformed officers were only a few members of the diverse crowd attending “A Tribute to Keith Cash.”
A 29-year veteran of IUPD, Cash died unexpectedly March 20.
“All of us who worked with Keith Cash, knew him as a tireless and dedicated public servant,” McRobbie said at the beginning of the ceremony.
Cash became chief of police in October 2010 after serving as an operations captain on the force for nine years.
He oversaw a force of 100 officers and staff responsible for serving and protecting the Bloomington campus during his time. Those who spoke at the ceremony praised Cash’s character, professionalism, spirit and numerous other qualities he embodied.
“Keith Cash is one of those people, even from my time here as an IU undergraduate, who when you saw you were simply happy to see,” Mayor Mark Kruzan said.
Kruzan expressed his condolences to Cash’s mother, Judy Cash, and brother, Steve Cash, who were in attendance at the ceremony.
“Thank you for sharing your son and your brother with all of us,” Kruzan said.
Not only did Cash serve as IUPD Chief of Police, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice at IU.
He graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in 2004 and was honored in 2011 by IU student media with the Trever R. Brown Award. The annual award is given to a staff member who demonstrates or has demonstrated respect and support for the First Amendment and student media.
McRobbie said Cash possessed a quiet strength and a willingness to sacrifice for others.
“Keith Cash served IU with honor and professionalism for nearly three decades,” McRobbie said. “We are forever in his debt ... he will truly be greatly missed.”
John S. Applegate, executive vice president for university regional affairs, planning and policy at IU, elaborated on the five C’s, five qualities he shared with cadets in his speech at the IU Police Academy graduation ceremony: camaraderie, compassion, communication, courage and character.
“Keith Cash exemplified those qualities,” Applegate said. “I will remember him as the sixth and seventh C’s. Chief Cash.”
Applegate said some of the best ways to honor Cash are to help each other in times of need, to be reliable and trustworthy, to foster a sense of camaraderie with colleagues and to make integrity the hallmark of character.
Associate Vice President, Pubic Safety and Institutional Assurance Mark S. Bruhn said Cash was his “boots on the ground,” and his source of “understanding on what should be done on campus rather than what can be.”
“Somehow, Keith managed to do it all,” Bruhn said. “He is greatly missed.”
Director of Public Safety at IU Jerry Minger and Acting Chief of Police Laury Flint also spoke.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t wish he were here,” Flint said. “Keith was a mentor. He had a vision and worked diligently toward its realization.”
After McRobbie said a few more words, both Judy and Steve Cash thanked everyone for being at the ceremony.
“We always knew why you guys liked him,” Judy Cash said. “Now we know why he had such a love for IU and everyone he worked with.”
McRobbie awarded Keith Cash the Distinguished Service Medal posthumously and unveiled plans for a memorial patio at IUPD Headquarters in honor of Cash and other fallen officers.
Following the unveiling of the patio and awarding of the Distinguished Service Medal, those in attendance were invited to a barbecue, the most “fitting way to pay tribute,” Steve Cash said, to IU’s fallen hero.
“He earned the respect of the officers,” Flint said. “The IUPD will continue down the path he forged for us. Keith will never be forgotten.”
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