NEWARK, Ohio, Dec 21, 2016 – Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) held a recognition ceremony last night (Tuesday) at the Newark campus to honor 17 graduates of the Basic Police Academy (BPA).* The Officer Thomas W. Cottrell Jr. Award for Character and Dedication to Public Service was also given out for the first time at the ceremony.
“It was a very special ceremony,” said COTC Institute for Public Services and Safety Director Kevin Reardon. “Honoring our new graduates and a former graduate, Officer Cottrell, was emotional and powerful.”
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. Since there were two groups of graduates honored, the Cottrell award was given to a student from each, Matthew Newlun and Aaron Hanson.
Newlun lives in Buckeye Lake and is married with two children. He currently works at Clean Harbors Environmental Services in Hebron and has been attending the BPA classes in the evening at COTC. Being a police officer has always been one of Newlun’s dreams. His main focus is to help the community and make it a better place for everyone. Newlun hopes to become a Licking County Sheriff’s Deputy and serve the community he has lived in his whole life.
Hanson lives in Newark and has a daughter. He is currently enrolled in the law enforcement technology program at COTC and plans to graduate in the spring of 2017. Hanson is a U.S. Army veteran and served one combat tour in Afghanistan.
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 BPA prepares students to meet the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission. Graduates are recommended to take the state certification examination to become a peace officer in Ohio. Graduates also earn 22.5 credits toward an Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement Technology.
Graduation Class (BAS #16-034), Newark BPA Commander Jeff Sowards
Graduation Class (BAS #16-035), Newark BPA Commander Wes Wagner
*Only graduates who have granted COTC permission to release their names to the public are listed.
The graduation ceremony was held 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.
Photo caption (l-r): Aaron Hansen, COTC President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., and Matthew Newlun