30 p.m. pn Wednesday.
At the Ohio State University Police Department on Wednesday, family, friends and fellow police officers gathered around as officers Alex Rayner and Kimberly Spears-McNatt were promoted to the rank of Lieutenants.
Both Officers Rayner and Spears-McNatt have a long history at OSU, serving the campus area since 1997 and 1994 respectively. Additionally, both officers graduated from OSU with bachelor’s degrees in criminology, Rayner in 1996 and Spears-McNatt in 1993.
Assistant vice president for public safety Vernon Baisden, praised the hard work of Rayner and Spears-McNatt.
“We, the university community, are extremely blessed in terms of having great people who work with us and for us, people who are hard working folks like Alex and Kimberly,” Baisden said. “Without them and others, it would be difficult to do the task that we are charged with, which is providing as much of a safe community as we can.”
OSU Police Chief Paul Denton spoke to the crowd about the importance of the oath that both officers undertook as they were promoted.
“An oath of office is a pledge, it’s an assurance, it is a public promise to meet the obligations of their new rank,” Denton said. “It is an affirmation that they adhere to a higher standard in the new duties and major responsibilities entrusted to them as supervisors by the public.”
Denton ended his speech drawing laughter from the crowd as he gave the officers “one more assignment.”
“Normally with a promotion there is some type of pay increase or raise, so your assignment is to treat your family and close friends to dinner,” he said.
Spears-McNatt was all smiles following the ceremony.
“It’s a really good feeling,” Spears-McNatt. “This has been a long journey, it’s been a year process and I’ve had a lot of family and friends support me, so to see them happy for me, there’s no words to describe it. It’s a really good feeling.”
Spears-McNatt, who serves as the police buddy for the Norton/Scott/Archer House complex, working with students to prevent crime in the area, said “it’s all about the students.”
For Rayner, whose father was an OSU professor, the promotion was more than just part of his career path.
“It feels really good, kind of keeping that tradition in the family, the tradition of Ohio State University,” Rayner said. “It’s just a good feeling to carry on.”
Rayner, who was named Police Officer of the Year in 1999, said becoming lieutenant is reflection of all the work he has done.
“(The police department) has given me a lot of opportunities, so many great things, and now I’m being recognized for that,” Rayner said. “It’s a good feeling to be recognized by your peers.”