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SSU names first commissioned officer

David Thoroughman was sworn in by Portsmouth Municipal Court Judge Steven L. Mowery in front of an audience that included representatives from each local law enforcement agency including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Scioto County Sheriff’s Department, Portsmouth City Police, the Mayor’s Office, Scioto County Courts, Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office, Shawnee State University staff and Thoroughman’s family.

PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State University Security Chief David Thoroughman became the first commissioned officer at Shawnee State University on Feb. 18, during a ceremony on campus.

Thoroughman was sworn in by Portsmouth Municipal Court Judge Steven L. Mowery in front of an audience that included representatives from each local law enforcement agency including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Scioto County Sheriff’s Department, Portsmouth City Police, the mayor’s office, Scioto County Courts, Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office, Shawnee State University staff and Thoroughman’s family.

“It means a lot to me to be Shawnee State University’s first police chief and to lead the department into the transition of becoming a police department,” Thoroughman said. “And, it meant a lot to me to have such a display of support here at the ceremony. We have a great relationship with all involved in law enforcement in our area and they are our partners as we move forward as a university.”

Dr. Rita Rice Morris, SSU president, opened the ceremony with a few comments about the role of safety and security at the university and what it means to have commissioned officers on campus.

“This is a huge step forward for us,” she said. “We have converted our Security Department to the SSU Department of Public Safety to include both security operations and campus police. This will help advance our efforts to ensure the safety of our employees and students.”

Commissioned officers receive specific training that gives them additional power and duty and allows them to serve as law enforcement agents. Thoroughman was commissioned through the Portsmouth Police Department as a former captain. Shawnee State University’s recent steps toward a campus police department allowed Thoroughman to renew his commission through SSU.

Other SSU personnel, including current security sergeants, are expected to complete their training and be commissioned in the coming months.

SSU plans to implement its police force once standing operating procedures are established, which is expected no later than this fall.