The University of Findlay is pleased to announce it has appointed William H. Spraw as its first police chief. Spraw, a former Findlay Police Department chief, will be in command of the University’s hybrid police/security department.
Spraw will begin serving June 1 as UF’s chief of police and director of security. This summer, the Office of Security will begin transitioning to the University of Findlay Police and Security Department, with some security personnel becoming campus police officers in time for the start of the fall semester. Over the next several months, the department will change to include between 18 and 20 officers and security personnel.
As a Findlay Police Department veteran, Spraw will lead the University’s collaboration with the Findlay Police Department and Hancock County Sheriff’s Office on departmental operations and procedures that will allow all regional law enforcement agencies to work on campus crime prevention and response. According to Vice President of Student Affairs David Emsweller, Spraw’s managerial skills, extensive community connections with the public and private sectors, and lifelong commitment to the welfare of all citizens will also be valued as he assists with developing this important University service.
The University of Findlay sought an experienced person to provide guidance through the transition and to expand a force that remains committed to serving and educating, Emsweller explained. In selecting Spraw, Findlay hired a proven leader who is adept at managing and implementing time-tested law enforcement and security practices, and who will use tailored methods that are sensitive to a college campus’ needs, he maintained.
“We are extremely fortunate to be welcoming Bill Spraw as our chief of police and director of security,” said Emsweller. “His law enforcement experience and his knowledge about both the University of Findlay and the community are extensive. These, combined with his collaborative approach and commitment to integrity and professionalism, make him the ideal person for this role. I am looking forward to the many contributions he will make both to the University and to the community,” Emsweller said.
“I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to help the University of Findlay augment its safety and security force,” said Spraw. “I’m looking forward to maintaining a safe campus environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.”
Emsweller noted that UF’s hybrid police/security department creation is in keeping with an ongoing national trend on college campuses that is focused on proactive law enforcement, crime prevention and community policing.
Spraw began his law enforcement career as a uniformed patrol officer for the city of Findlay in 1980. He worked his way up through the ranks to become captain in 2000, and police chief in 2005. He retired in May 2009. He also has occasionally worked as a criminal justice instructor for UF and Owens Community College.
Spraw earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University in 1979, and a Master of Criminal Justice from Tiffin University in 1999. He also attended Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command.
Other community service activities have been a priority for Spraw. He is past chairman of the Hancock Community Partnership Law Enforcement System; a former member of Findlay High School’s Athletic Booster Club; was chairman of the Elks local and district Just Say No to Drugs Hoop Shoot for Youth; is an active member of Findlay Lodge No. 75 B.P.O. Elks; is past president of the Focus on Friends board of directors; and is a past board vice president of Hancock County Center for Safe and Healthy Children.