Daniels named new commander of officer academy


Southern State Community College has announced that Doug Daniels of Greenfield is the new commander of the Ohio Basic Peace Officer Academy (OPOTA) at the college.

Daniels succeeds Ron Fithen, a Wilmington resident who served as commander of the program for a little over 20 years.

Daniels has a comprehensive law enforcement background that encompasses a variety of different settings, having over 43 years of experience.

“We are very excited to have someone of Doug’s caliber take over as commander of the police academy,” said Dr. Erika Goodwin, SSCC vice president of academic affairs. “Doug had taught in our program for a year before being named commander so the overlap with former commander Ron Fithen has proved invaluable. We also thank Ron Fithen for his many years of dedicated service to the Southern State Policy Academy.”

Daniels currently serves as a special deputy with the Highland County Sheriff’s Office as well as a FAASTeam (FAA Safety Team) lead representative and drone pro member for the FAA’s Flight Standards District Office in Columbus, Ohio.

“I have immersed myself into the new technology of sUAS/drones for public safety and have been developing courses for this new field. I am the midwest deputy regional director for the Airborne Public Safety Association. I have written and am starting to write articles for the Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA) magazine Air Beat and other publications,” said Daniels.

A graduate of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy himself, Daniels brings a wealth of knowledge about the academy to current students and other instructors teaching in the academy.

“I have been instructing in various academies around the state of Ohio since 1992. I give my students 100 percent and more when teaching and I am not afraid to answer tough questions. If I don’t have the answer, I will find it for the student,” said Daniels.

The OPOTA Program at Southern State provides instruction in basic, advanced and technical subjects for the Ohio law enforcement community using the latest research and recommended professional practices.

To learn more about Southern State’s Law Enforcement Program and the Ohio Basic Police Officer Academy, visit https://www.sscc.edu/academics/programs/law-enforcement.shtml or email Daniels at [email protected].

The next start date for the academy will be in late June or early July 2023.

Submitted by Elizabeth Burkard, director of marketing, Southern State Community College.

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