NEWARK, Ohio, December 14, 2016 – The Officer Thomas W. Cottrell Jr. Award for Character and Dedication to Public Service will be given out for the first time to two Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) Basic Police Academy (BPA) students at a graduation ceremony in December. Cottrell was a 2002 graduate of COTC's BPA. He was killed in the line of duty while working in the small Knox County town of Danville last January.
"Officer Cottrell's mother, Melissa Osborn, established the award to honor her son at each of COTC's BPA graduations," said COTC Institute for Public Services and Safety Director Kevin Reardon. "It's a great way to honor Officer Cottrell and recognize students who are carrying on his legacy. Two awards will be given at this graduation ceremony since two separate BPA classes are graduating."
The Cottrell award will be given out at each BPA graduation ceremony during the academic year. The selection of the recipients is based on many factors including, but not limited to, academic success and overall leadership and character. The award will be a minimum of $1,000 and is to be used to help the graduating cadet with equipment purchases and other expenses associated with beginning a career in law enforcement.
"The Officer Thomas W. Cottrell Jr. award will serve as the highest honor a COTC BPA cadet can receive," said COTC President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D. "Officer Cottrell was a firm believer in family, friends, community and service to others. He never hesitated to place others ahead of himself and selflessly dedicated his time to help those in need. This award was created to honor Officer Cottrell's character and his commitment to service and will be presented to select graduates of COTC's BPA who epitomize those attributes."
The graduation ceremony will be held on Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Melissa Warner Bow Grand Hall in the John Gilbert Reese Center on the Newark campus.
Central Ohio Technical College opened in 1971 and is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2016. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.