NEWARK, Ohio, May 12, 2020 – Jason Weaver always knew he wanted to teach but becoming a police officer and teaching future law enforcement professionals was not what he predicted. In fact, he graduated with his bachelor's degree in history from The Ohio State University with the intention of being a high school history teacher. A friend and Newark police officer convinced him to complete the Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) Basic Police Academy, which is now known as the Peace Officer Basic Training (POBT) academy, during a summer break from classes at the Newark campus of Ohio State. After completing training, his air national guard unit was called up in the U.S. response to 9/11. This experience cemented his calling to law enforcement and led him to his career as an officer and COTC instructor.
"I had great instructors in the police academy. It is the foundation for the work a person does as an officer," said Weaver. "I think that the most important thing that I still use is rolling down the windows while patrolling and interacting with the community. We are all ambassadors of the profession, and it is important that we are promoting positive community and police relations."
He works as a full-time officer with the state of Ohio at the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare Police Department and as a reserve lieutenant at the Junction City Police Department where he is the department training officer. In all things he does, Weaver feels a sense of fulfillment helping others succeed or changing their life in a positive way. He feels this most of all as a COTC POBT instructor.
"It is an honor and privilege to be a part of the first step in a student's career. When I see former students out working and doing great things, I am so proud of them and feel fortunate to have been able to provide them with the skills they need," he said. "Teaching is my passion and my students are my legacy. The impact that I have on my students will be passed on to who they work with, the public and others who choose the profession."
Weaver feels honored to be an instructor in COTC's POBT academy because of the students he teaches and his colleagues. He noted how the academy's instructors are or have been employed in many different agencies and disciplines giving students the opportunity to learn a variety of perspectives that perhaps other academies do not provide. He makes sure that students understand the variety of career options law enforcement provides including cybersecurity, underwater rescue, drone policing, investigations and much more. Weaver also believes he and his fellow instructors truly enjoy teaching and making the learning experience enjoyable for their students. He encourages all his students to continue to learn new things and take advantage of training opportunities.
Weaver summed up his philosophy in all things that he does when he said, "I may not be able to change the whole world, but I can change one person's world for the better with every interaction I have whether it is in my role as an officer or as an instructor."
COTC's POBT exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and positions students to excel on the state certification exam. COTC is the second-highest scoring open enrollment academy in the state. Graduates also earn credits toward an associate degree in law enforcement technology. Learn more and register for an information session at go.cotc.edu/POBT. Contact Amanda Dunlap at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-366-9222 for more information.
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. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.