OUPD retiree

OUPD recent retiree Adam Hoffman received a department signed framed picture as a gift. He was joined on stage by his ex-partner K9 Officer Brody and his new handler Mike Harlow.

Photographer: Evan Leonard

Chad Touchet

New OUPD Officer Chad Touchet receives his badge from his daughter Mia. Touchet joined the department after retiring from the U.S. Army.

Photographer: Evan Leonard

Brody and Mike Harlow

Bomb sniffing K9 Officer Brody poses with his new handler Mike Harlow.

Photographer: Evan Leonard

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OUPD receives Andy Griffith shotgun at annual Recognition Ceremony

Officer Dave Valentine named Employee of the Year

The Ohio University Police Department recognized its most outstanding police officers during its fourth annual Employee Recognition Ceremony on Sept. 6 in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

The event gives special recognition to OUPD employees who are new, retiring or had a special achievement during the past year.

The evening was highlighted by the presentation of an 1850 Glenrock double-barrel shotgun to OUPD. Legendary late actor and singer Andy Griffith originally gave the gun to late OHIO alumnus Dick Linke, who served as his talent manager and close friend for most of his career. Linke, who died in June 2016 at the age of 98, left some of his possessions, including the shotgun, to Ohio University.

The presentation of the gun was made by retired Ohio University administrator Jack Ellis, who said he became Linke’s friend in 1960 while living in Los Angeles. He said he asked Linke’s widow, Bettina Brenna, if he could gift the rifle to OUPD and she agreed. 

“On behalf of the men and women of OUPD and Ohio University as a whole, we are grateful for this generous gift,” Ohio University Chief of Police Andrew Powers said. “We have a display case in our lobby that will be a perfect home for this historic item.”

The evening’s keynote speaker was Perry County native and OHIO alumnus Col. Paul A. Pride, the 18th superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. A 27-year veteran of the OHSP, Pride has spent most of his career at the Marietta, Jackson and Gallipolis posts. In 1990, he received the Patrol’s Superintendent’s Citation of Merit award, and in 1992, he was named post and district Trooper of the Year. He also served seven years in the United States Marine Corps.

Col. Pride began his talk by retracing his life’s journey that led him to the top position in the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He said he achieved that position despite coming from a Southeastern Ohio family riddled with drug and alcohol addiction and poverty. He talked about leaving the Marine Corps with very little money and no real direction as to how he was going to earn a living.

After securing a job with the OSHP in 1989, he eventually worked his way up through the ranks until he reached the superintendent position in July 2013. Married for 37 years to his high school sweetheart, Col. Pride said that he is grateful that his wife has stuck with him despite moving 19 times. He credits the love and support his wife and others gave him throughout his career for his successful career.

Col. Pride left the audience with some words of advice and encouragement.

“I want you to understand how important you are to these officers,” he said to the officers’ family members. “You are part of a strong support system that is necessary for them to be successful. You are very important in their lives.”

Finally, Col. Pride gave the audience some homework.

“Find someone doing something good and speak a word of encouragement to them. Show them your appreciation,” he said. “If I could do one thing, I would thank my family and friends more often.”

During the ceremony, Chief Powers shared the department’s new vision statement and talked about the positive feedback his department received from a recent campus survey. He said the department surveyed a random sample of 5,327 people on and off campus with the help of University Communications and Marketing.

He said 68 percent of the respondents said they had interacted with OUPD personnel and 69 percent of those people said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the interaction. Chief Powers added that 85 percent of the survey’s total respondents said they felt safe or extremely safe on the Athens Campus.

“The fact that about two-thirds of the people who interacted with us in a professional capacity were satisfied or extremely satisfied is a real testament to the professionalism of our officers,” Chief Powers said. “I don’t have the data, but I’m sure we compare favorably to other police departments. I’m so proud of our department.”

During the ceremony, OUPD gave special recognition to the following people:

Retirement: Adam Hoffman, former K9 Officer Handler

Departing Reserve Officers: Don Combs, Richard Comer, Rich Russell

New staff who received badges: Captain George Harlow, Officers Christopher Russell, Gracie Staten, Chad Touchet and John Young

New Communications Officer: Joe Robinson

Promotions: Lt. Farin Barber promoted from Officer

Five Years of Service: Officer Mike Harlow

20 Years of Service: Officer John Stabler

Most Overtime Worked: Officer Zachary Hahn (664 hours), Communications Officer Jennifer Davies (585 hours)

Least Sick Time Taken: Detective Brittney Cottrill (no sick time taken)

Community Recognition Award: Detectives Mathew Austin and Rick Sargent, Officer Brandon King (stopped mentally unstable student from purchasing assault weapon ammunition)

Lifesaving Award: Officer David Gillogly (saved student who threatened to jump from residence hall window)

Deployment Award: Lts. Farin Barber and Eric Hoskinson, Detective Rick Sargent, Officers Leo Carsey, Dave Valentine and Jason Schoonover (worked Republican National Convention in Cleveland)

Employee of the Year Award: Officer Dave Valentine

Citizen Recognition Award: John Downs, owner of Downs Bait and Guns in Logan, Ohio, (twice refused to sell a mentally unstable OHIO student a long rifle and reported him to authorities)

Campus Recognition Award: Custodial Services Employees Adam Canter, Gary Brooks and Walter O’Rourke (reported a disturbing letter left behind by a student to authorities)

Campus Partner Award: Ohio University Printing Services

Chief Andrew Powers said the annual Department Recognition Ceremony shows how hard the officers work on a day-to-day basis.

"This night is about the officers and their families," Chief Powers said. "Our families often don’t get a chance to see what we do at work, so this is a great opportunity to share that with them. There are so many wonderful things going on. As a society, we often seem to focus on the negativity generated by a few bad officers, so I think it’s important to take a moment like tonight to celebrate the many good officers and all the things they're doing right."

OUPD rotc

Ohio University Army ROTC members opened the 2017 Ohio University Police Department Recognition Ceremony by presenting the colors.

powers and pride

Ohio University Chief Andrew Powers (left) and Ohio University State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Paul A. Pride (right) salute the U.S. flag during the Sept. 6 ceremony.

Jennifer Davies

Ohio University Police Department Communications Officer Jennifer Davies receives the "Most Overtime Worked" by a non-police officer from Chief Andrew Powers. She worked 585 hours of overtime to win the award.

Paul Pride

Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Paul A. Pride speaks during the Sept. 6 ceremony. The Ohio University alumnus explained how he overcame the odds of growing up poor in Southeastern Ohio to lead the OHSP. He was appointed to his position on July 31, 2013 by Director of Public Safety John Born and Gov. John Kasich.

John Downs

Chief Andrew Powers presents John Downs, owner of Downs Bait and Guns in Logan, Ohio, with a "Citizenship Award." Downs twice refused to sell a mentally unstable Ohio University student a rifle and reported him to authorities. The student was later arrested on burglary and weapons charges.

George Harlow award

Ohio University Police Department Captain George W. Harlow shows his surprise when presented with a gift from Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Paul A. Pride. Harlow was an OSHP lieutenant and Post 5 commander, which covers the counties of Athens and Hocking, before joining OUPD in July 2016. The box contained a beautiful set of eagle-winged bookends. 

Jack Ellis

Retired OHIO administrator Jack Ellis presented an 1850 Glenrock double-barrel shotgun to OUPD that used to belong to actor and singer Andy Griffith. The late TV star gave the gun to late OHIO alumnus Dick Linke, who served as his talent manager and close friend for most of his career. When Linke died in June 2016 at the age of 98, he left the shotgun to Ohio University.


This is the 1850 Glenrock double-barrel shotgun that used to belong to legendary actor and singer Andy Griffith. The late TV star gave the gun to late OHIO alumnus Dick Linke. OUPD placed the gun in a display case located in its Scott Quad lobby. A photo of Griffith wearing his Mayberry sheriff's uniform and Linke sits to the right of the gun and the new OUPD vision statement sits above the shotgun.

OUPD Lieutenants

Ohio University Police Department lieutenants stand to be recognized (L-R): Eric E. Hoskinson, Timothy M. Ryan, Brian L. Newvahner and Farin Barber. 

OUPD staff

The 2017-18 Ohio University Police Department.