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Ohio State appoints first female police chief

Ohio State University police chief Kimberly Spears-McNatt talks with students in the Ohio Union on Thursday. Credit | @OhioStateAP

Ohio State University Police will have its first female police chief, with Kimberly Spears-McNatt being appointed to the position on Tuesday. She becomes the department’s 11th police chief.

Tracy Hahn will take over as deputy chief.

Spears-McNatt has been interim police chief for the past six months since the former chief Craig Stone left Ohio State to become the executive director of public safety and chief of police at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Spears-McNatt served as Stone’s deputy chief since August 2016.

“Kimberly and Tracy offer over 50 years of combined law enforcement experience and the leadership skills to continue the great police service we provide here at Ohio State,” Monica Moll, director of public safety, said in a press release.

An Ohio State graduate, Spears-McNatt has served at the university as an officer for nearly 25 years, according to the press release. While with Ohio State Police, she received the Commendation Award and a Medal of Valor, among other honors.

“I graduated from Ohio State and began my law enforcement career on the Columbus campus,” Spears-McNatt said. “The safety of our campus community remains my top priority and I look forward to moving our agency forward with a focus on education and community engagement.”

Spears-McNatt is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

“As a CALEA (The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.) -accredited law enforcement agency, we hold ourselves to the highest standards and value diversity on our police force to best reflect the community we serve,” Moll said.

Hahn, another Ohio State graduate, previously worked for Ohio State Police in 1990 and worked at the department for three years. She has since worked at the Upper Arlington Police Division, and became the department’s first female police chief before retiring on Sept. 22 to rejoin Ohio State Police in late October.

“I enjoyed serving the citizens of Upper Arlington for 25 years,” Hahn said. “I am excited and re-energized to have a positive influence on a different type of community and look forward to getting to know our students.”

A public ceremony will be held at the Alumni Lounge of the Fawcett Center at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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