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Rio campus police announce 2020 Officer of the Year

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The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College 2020 Officer of the Year Megan Cochran is presented the award by University President Ryan Smith (Photo Courtesy: University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College)

RIO GRANDE, OH (WOWK) – The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College has named Campus Police Officer Megan Cochran has been named the 2020 Officer of the Year. This is the fourth year the award has been presented, and Cochran is the first female officer at Rio chosen to receive it.

“Receiving this award for the second time in my career at a different department is extremely humbling,” Cochran said.  “I’m honored my coworkers have noticed that I always go out every shift no matter what and give 110%, and chose me for this award.”

University Board of Trustees member Larry Rees and his wife Laura established the award in appreciation for the department’s dedication to serving the community.

The officers in the Campus Police Department select the winner by voting for a colleague who demonstrates leadership, courtesy and compassion. The officers voted for Cochran almost unanimously for exemplifying leadership, although she has been with the department less than a year.

Cochran graduated from Gallia Academy High School in 2013 and entered the Police Academy at Buckeye Hills. Cochran is following in her the footsteps of her father, who served as a police officer in Gallia County for nearly 20 years.

While she has been in law enforcement for just six years, Cochran has received several awards including Life Saving Awards and the Wellston Police Department’s 2017 Officer of the Year Award.

“We are so blessed to have her a part of our police department. She does her job in a very exceptional way.” He added, “It gives me the ability to say, ‘Your child is safe here’” during orientations and to parents,” University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College President Ryan Smith said.

In addition to her full-time position with Rio’s Campus Police Department, Cochran also holds auxiliary commissions with the Rio Grande Police Department and the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office. She is also currently pursuing an associate’s degree in Psychology.

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