University Police recently hired two new officers to its ranks, and although both men received their undergraduate degrees from Ohio State, neither started their college careers with the intent of returning to campus as uniformed officers.
Officers John Quinlan and Alan Horujko became the two newest members of the department, which employs 47 sworn police officers on the Columbus campus, Office of Administration and Planning spokesman Justin Moss said in an email.
Quinlan said he began his law-enforcement career after teaching Spanish and German for several years for the Olentangy School District.
“It’s a second career that I’ve always loved and wanted to do,” Quinlan said of the switch to law enforcement.
The Bucyrus, Ohio, native completed his degree in Spanish at OSU after serving as a linguist in the U.S. Army.
“My only career path in the Army that I was interested in was being a Spanish linguist,” he said.
After his time in the Army, Quinlan began college in Germany before transferring to OSU, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in education. He is now finishing a second master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati.
“This was my No. 1 goal,” he said of his new career as a university police officer. “It was the perfect way for me to combine education and law enforcement.”
Horujko was sworn in on Jan. 13. The Cincinnati native studied security and intelligence at OSU and graduated in 2012 after working with Student Safety Services.
“That’s kind of what led me to wanting to become a police officer,” said Horujko, who was an engineering major for three years.
Horujko said that he did not feel as passionately about engineering as his classmates did, so he began working with Student Safety Services before changing his major.
“I just couldn’t see myself sitting in a cubicle,” Horujko said of his decision to leave engineering and pursue law enforcement.
“By working (at Student Safety Services) and seeing what the police do, and what Student Safety does on the campus, the kind of behind-the-scenes stuff really led me to a law enforcement career,” he said.
OSU’s two newest officers are now part of about 240 staff members who work for the Department of Public Safety, which employs sworn police officers, security officers and Student Safety Service officers, in addition to dispatchers and security teams, Moss said.
Of the two positions that Quinlan and Horujko filled, one was vacant due to retirement and the other was a new position, Moss added.
Quinlan said that he thinks a lot of skills will transfer from his career in education to his new job.
“I’ve been working with high school students for quite a few years,” he said. “I’ve dealt with a number of issues that I think are going to be common to young people at this level.”