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Ohio University Police Department's newest hire, Chris Russell, poses for a portrait outside the OUPD station in Scott Quad on March 8.

New officer gets his dream job at OUPD

OUPD's newest officer coached elementary school football. He shoots guns and rides four-wheelers in his spare time.

The Ohio University Police Department’s newest officer, Chris Russell, isn’t doing much policing just yet, but he’s making many friends.

“There’s like 30 people here, so I made 30 new friends, pretty much,” Russell said. “I’m just trying to get everyone’s name down.”

Russell said he started about a month ago, and has been shadowing other members of the department to learn more about his job. He makes $25.41 an hour. 

According to a tweet from OU’s President’s Office, Russell was sworn in Feb. 25. He’s the second officer hired this academic year, according to a previous Post report. The next most recent hire, Officer Michael Harlow, started working at OUPD in December.

OUPD still has three other positions open, according to OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan.

“We currently have one vacant patrol officer position, one vacant patrol supervisor position and one vacant captain position,” Ryan said in an email.

The officer position and the supervisor position are both posted on the Ohio University Jobs site, and the department is accepting applications, Ryan said. The captain position is closed, and Ryan said the department is now looking through the applications and conducting phone interviews.

“The captain position, which will be largely administrative in nature, has been vacant for some time while we focused on filling our vacant patrol positions and added our K9 units,” OUPD Chief Andrew Powers said in an email.

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Meanwhile, Russell has been working through his training. The program is about 12 weeks long. He has a training manual he has to follow every day, and at the end of the program, he’ll be tested and either be set free on his own or put through more training.

He looks forward to seeing what fest season is like from a police perspective.

“It’s pretty quiet around here so far, but fest season’s coming up, so I’m sure that’ll be … interesting, to say the least,” Russell said.

In his spare time, Russell rides four wheelers and likes to shoot guns. He also worked as a elementary school football coach for four years, coaching his little brother’s team.

“I played football for 10 years, and watching the little kids kind of learn the game that I love was really neat,” he said.

Russell doesn’t know whether his current schedule will allow him to continue coaching, which he said was “unfortunate.”

Russell said he decided to become a police officer when he was 16. He went to police academy at Hocking College and got to work as an officer for the Glouster Police Department right away. He worked there for six months, then worked at the Marietta College Police Department until February.

The excitement of the job inspired him to become an officer.

“There’s something new every day,” he said. “You’re not ever going to have the same redundant thing happen over and over. I mean, you know, throughout your career you will, but not every day.”

Russell wanted to work at OUPD because he thinks the department was very professional, and the campus is beautiful. He said he’s content for now with just being a patrolman and working as hard as he can in his position.

“This is it, actually,” Russell said. “After a year on the force, I got my dream job. This is where I wanted to be. It’s awesome.”


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