OSUPD Hires New Officers
The Ohio State University Police Division continues to add to its staffing in conjunction with a long-term recommendation from the university’s Task Force on Community Safety and Well-Being. OSUPD swore in four new officers on January 18, bringing the total to five new officers sworn in to serve the Columbus campus already in 2022.
“We are focused on recruiting the best and brightest individuals to our division,” said Chief Kimberly Spears-McNatt. “Our officers are dedicated to supporting a safe environment for our all students, staff, faculty and visitors.”
The hiring surge extends back to 2021 when OSUPD swore in nine new police officers. The department now has an authorized strength of 70 for the Columbus campus, with 64 of those positions filled. OSUPD continues to recruit, hire and train new law enforcement officers.
The university’s Task Force on Community Safety and Well-Being outlines a long-term goal anticipated for FY23 to expand OSUPD coverage through joint patrol east of High Street. Joint patrol involves a University Police officer teaming up full-time with an officer from the Columbus Division of Police (CPD) to patrol the areas east of High Street where many students live.
In the last five years, OSUPD has seen a 16% increase in police staffing from 54 to 64 with room to grow further into the full authorized strength of 70. In June 2020, The Columbus Dispatch reported that OSUPD had the area’s highest ratio of Black officers with seven of 59 (12%), including its chief. Ohio State continues to focus on recruiting, training, and retaining highly qualified officers that best reflect the community they serve.
Meet the Officers
Jha’mee “Bo” Elliott was raised in Millersport, Ohio. He attended Ohio University and Columbus State Community College and is currently looking to finish his degree at Eastern Gateway Community College in software development. Bo was hired by the Ohio Highway Patrol as a security officer. In 2017, he moved to a Police Officer 2 position with the Patrol. Bo enjoys outdoor activities and being involved in his church.
Alec Kaeppner was raised in Dublin, Ohio. His father is a retired CPD Sergeant. Alex recently graduated from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy at the Delaware Area Career Center. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in Environmental Policy and a Master’s degree from Marshall University in Environmental Science. Alex enjoys camping and bike riding in his spare time.
Jonnathan Sanchez Garcia was born in Mexico and spent part of his youth there before moving to central Ohio. Jonnathan comes to Ohio State from Columbus State Community College where he worked as a police officer since 2019. Prior to that, Jonnathan worked for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office as a corrections records officer. He then entered the City of Columbus Police Academy and was subsequently hired by Columbus State. Jonnathan has an Associate’s degree in Cybersecurity from Columbus State and likes to play guitar and fly his drone.
Nick Jellison was raised in Van Wert Ohio. After receiving a Bachelor ‘s degree from Bowling Green in Criminal Justice, Nick was hired as a probationary officer for Wood County Juvenile Court. Most recently, he worked for IKEA as a risk and compliance agent while also attending the Greene County Criminal Justice Academy police academy. Nick is also involved in his church and youth groups.
Jacob Lee is a newly hired Police Trainee who began the police training academy at the Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) on January 10. Jacob was raised in Gahanna, Ohio and his father is Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper. Jacob received his Associates Degree in Criminology from Columbus State Community College. Jacob enjoys working out and playing recreational soccer.
Donald Wallis is the new police officer assigned to the Mansfield campus. Donald grew up in the Mansfield, Ohio area and briefly attended the Ohio State University Mansfield Campus before getting his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology from the University of Phoenix. After getting his degree, Donald went through the police academy at North Central State College and was then hired as an auxiliary officer by the Ontario Police Department. Donald then enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Afghanistan. After his discharge from the Army, Donald joined the Bellville Police Department.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a University Police Officer, visit https://dps.osu.edu/police-careers.