Wright State honors Department of Public Safety staff and 2023 Officer of the Year

The Wright State University Department of Public Safety honored several police officers, staff members and staff from other areas of the university for their hard work, dedication and support over the past year.

The department recognized the Officer of the Year and presented the Departmental Distinguished Service Award, Distinguished Service Award and Major Incident Award at its annual public safety award ceremony at the Student Union Endeavour Room on March 7.

Police Sgt. Chad Oleyar, who has served in the Wright State Police Department for 17 years, was named the 2023 Officer of the Year.

Police Sgt. Chad Oleyar, left, receiving the 2023 Officer of the Year Award from Capt. David Cox.

Benjamin Lootens and Ron Applegate received the Departmental Distinguished Service Award for their roles as support services technician and locksmith, respectively.

The Major Incident Award was presented to Sgt. Dexter Hicks, Officer Ben Schaefer, Officer James Ohlinger and Communications Center Operator Adriana El Chami for their quick response to a combative individual on campus.

Oleyar, Hicks, Schaefer, El Chami, Capt. David Cox, Capt. Zachary Norman, Officer Jacob Cooper, Officer Gianni Parise, Officer Nicholas Quillen, Officer Katie Wright, Communications Center Operators Dena Neal and Gary Pemberton and Dispatch Supervisor Earl Thompson were awarded certificates recognizing their efforts during several emergency incidents last year and for their community connections.

Seth Bauguess, the director of communications, received the Distinguished Service Award for supporting crisis communications and police dispatchers for the last 13 years.

“This man is loyal and so dependable,” said Holden. “When you help the thin blue line family, you’re always part of our family.”

The Department of Public Safety also recognized Facilities Operations staff members Russell Moore, Don Miller and Richard Montgomery.

“We are only as good as our community allows us to be and our community supports us,” Holden said. “They are there for us, and that’s why it was very easy to recognize those outside the department for their work because they helped us be that much better.”

Kurt Holden, director of public safety, and Seth Bauguess, director of communications.

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