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Police officers honored for bravery during shootout

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers awarded the Ohio State University Police Division with a plaque in recognition of officers’ efforts and bravery during a three-hour shootout in the University District on Sept. 7.

Nine OSU police officers worked alongside other local police departments to secure the perimeter of the area and protect the safety of citizens and law enforcement officials throughout the shootout. In the shootout, two Columbus police officers were shot, said Kevin Miles, board president of Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.

Crime Stoppers, a citizen-based organization, recognizes law enforcement once a month at their meetings. The OSU Police Division was chosen for the October award after Crime Stoppers reviewed the details of the shooting situation, Miles said.

“For an incident that happened for three hours, it is truly amazing that no one was killed,” Miles said. “This is something that could have been a lot worse but wasn’t because of everyone working together in harmony. Everyone came together to make sure no civilians were hurt or shot during that siege.”

Today, Capt. Eric Whiteside will present the plaque to the officers during a 3 p.m. briefing meeting.

In addition to the Crime Stoppers award, the OSU Police Division recognized Lt. Dennis Hollern with the Valor Award, the highest individual award an officer can receive, said OSU police Capt. Dave Rose.

According to OSU police criteria, the Valor Award can be awarded to a member “who has performed under hazardous circumstances at great risk to his or her own life or safety.”

Eight other officers, including officers Charles Gierach, Chris Chambers, Tom Schneider, Andrew Gillespie, Marge Rizalvo, Brian Botkin, Regina Shoopman and Dave Ferimer received Commendation Awards for their roles securing the perimeter and keeping civilians safe, Rose said.

“Our officers acted bravely,” Rose said. “They rose to the challenge and responded to officers that were fighting for their lives.” 

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