In the News: Leaders with Ohio State roots to command OSUPD

The Ohio State University’s new chief of police, Kimberly Spears-McNatt, knows what it’s like to walk across campus as a new student in a new city.

Spears-McNatt grew up in Akron before heading to Ohio State for college. She lived in Canfield Hall, walked to classes, worked on campus and spent time connecting with the community.

“One thing I will always iterate is that I was once a student. So having that experience graduating from Ohio State, I understand what it’s like to walk across The Oval. I understand what it’s like to be in Ohio Union,” she said. “I’ve been there. I’ve walked in their shoes. It’s important for me that [students] feel welcome, that they’re safe and this is the best four or five years of their life. I want them to be able to focus on their education and studying. Let me worry about keeping them safe.”

This week, Spears-McNatt became the 11th police chief in Ohio State history. Her full-time appointment comes six months after taking over as interim chief upon the departure of Craig Stone. In addition, Tracy Hahn, the former police chief of Upper Arlington, has joined the division as deputy chief.