Sgt. David Durr Photo
Sgt. David Durr

Sergeant David Durr joined the Patrol in October 1980 as a member of the 109th Academy class. He earned his commission in February 1981 and was assigned to the Granville Post where in 1986, 1991 and 1997 he earned the Post Trooper of the Year Award. In 1992 he earned the Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award. In January 1999 he transferred to the Office of Investigative Services. In November 2000 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to Executive Protection. Originally of Bucyrus, Sgt. Durr currently resides Westerville.
 

In My Own Words

Some kids grow up with the dream of being a police officer. As an African American kid in a small, white town, I never even considered it. After all, there was no one in my family who even had a career in law enforcement. So when a white state trooper mentioned that he thought I would be a good candidate for the Ohio State Patrol, I initially laughed—what a crazy idea, I thought. However, it was my parents who made me realize that just maybe it was not such a crazy idea. How did my father and mother know that this job could open so many doors for me?

After graduating from the Ohio State Patrol Academy, I worked at the Granville Post for 17 years. Truthfully, I enjoyed my time on the road. Every day offered me something new. My job duties included investigating crashes, serving on speech details to students, and providing assistance to individuals who were stranded - to name just a few of my professional duties. Investigating crashes was intriguing because they posed mysteries for me to solve. Serving on speech details gave me a chance to influence young people to make positive choices in their lives, and assisting others in need offered me an opportunity to give back, as many have supported me in my life when I have needed help.

Yet, in 1998, I acquired my current assignment in the Executive Protection Unit (EPU), which has been the most exciting and challenging role for me so far. The EPU is the part of the Patrol which provides the Governor, First Lady and Lieutenant Governor of Ohio protection. My primary job is to protect them from harm and embarrassment. This position has given me more opportunities that one can even imagine, including being able to travel extensively with the Governor to Japan, Europe, Mexico and South America. I have accompanied the Governor to two Fiesta Bowls, two presidential conventions and various inaugural events. As a sergeant now, I am also responsible for providing security for visiting dignitaries and assisting other security details.

The Ohio State Patrol has not only given me a job, but it has provided me with a meaningful profession, one that makes a difference in others’ lives. I will occasionally speak with people who I assisted or even arrested many years ago and they will thank me for helping them. I tell them that I was just doing my job and they will mention how much they appreciate how I did my job. So you see, the way we do this job does make a difference.

As a minority, I am aware of the challenges that I face in this profession. However, it has been exactly that, the fact that I am a minority member that has given me the opportunity to use a perspective that others may not have. That is to say that I have chosen to use my life experiences to connect with others from various cultures because I had already developed communication skills that have helped me deal with all kinds of people in a variety of circumstances and these skills have benefited me professionally.
Additionally, as an African American man who holds the rank of sergeant in the Ohio State Patrol, I realize that I constantly defy stereotypes.

Even though being employed with the Ohio State Patrol grants me gainful employment, my position is much more than the financial benefits that I receive for myself and for my wife, Janet. For example, how can I put a monetary amount on the fact that I serve as a physical reminder that minority members really do have a meaningful place in our community? What about the truth that I serve as a role model on a daily basis for those who typically feel left out and unnoticed?

But, my presence is not just a validation to strangers; it is very much connected to my loved ones as well. I believe that I must live my life in a way that brings tribute and honor to those who have always supported me, and my profession helps me do just that. By reaching out and encouraging others to envision a better future for themselves, I am able to pay tribute to those who have encouraged me. The Ohio State Patrol has provided me with a means to amplify my message - a message that speaks to the value of serving others.

Regardless of whether you have ever considered a profession in law enforcement, why not use your vast experiences, regardless of your ethnicity or gender, to develop yourself personally and professionally in this line of work? What if I would have discounted the suggestion of that trooper who talked to me about a profession with the Ohio State Patrol? I would have missed out on many once-in-a-lifetime adventures. My parents have always been extremely wise and I am grateful that their wisdom continues to ring true that new doors still open for me every day because I was willing to consider, “a crazy idea.”

 

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