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COTC to Honor Fallen Danville Police Officer Thomas Cottrell

Announcement will be made during Alumni Law Enforcement Event on Campus​​​

NEWARK, Ohio, April 4, 2016 – Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., will make a special announcement on April 21 about plans to honor fallen Danville Police Officer Thomas Cottrell. The announcement will occur during a COTC law enforcement alumni event on COTC's Newark campus. Cottrell was a 2002 graduate of COTC's Basic Police Academy. He was killed in the line of duty while working in a small town in Knox County in January.

"The law enforcement community is a very tight knit group, and the loss of any officer hits the community hard," said COTC Institute for Public Services and Safety Director Kevin Reardon. "However, since Cottrell was a COTC graduate, that makes the impact huge on our campus and for our alumni."


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A group of COTC law enforcement alumni will be returning to campus to speak to students as part of a panel discussion called The Reality of Law Enforcement: Risk and Reward. The event allows students to learn from and network with graduates who are already out working in the law enforcement community.

With the death of Officer Cottrell as the backdrop, the panel will talk about the dangers of a law enforcement career along with the rewards of serving others. Seven COTC law enforcement graduates will participate in the panel discussion:

Mark J. Weiner, Director of Victim Services
Licking County Sheriff's Office
Criminal Justice Technology, 1992

Ptl. Rene Joris, Patrol Officer
Fredericktown Police Department
Basic Police Academy, 2015

 Sheriff Randy Thorp, Licking County Sheriff
Licking County Sheriff's Office
Criminal Justice Technology, 2000

Officer Jarrod Conley, Detective
Newark Division of Police
Law Enforcement Technology, 1999

Whitney Babbert, Probation Officer
Licking County Court of Common Pleas – Adult Court Services
Human Services Social Services, 2009

Officer David Burris, K-9 Unit
Newark Division of Police
Law Enforcement Technology, 2005

Officer Jillyan Will, Patrol Officer
New Albany Police Department
Basic Police Academy, 2015

The panel discussion will occur April 21 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Melissa Warner Bow Grand Hall located in the John Gilbert Reese Center. The program will include time for student questions. Both COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark students are welcome to attend.

The program is co-sponsored by: COTC Alumni Council, COTC Institute for Public Services and Safety, and the COTC and Ohio State Newark Office of Career Development and Experiential Learning Services.  For more information contact the Office of Career Development at 740.366.9453.​

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.