The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Officer Ryan Whittington Named “2018 Police Officer of the Year”

Public+Safety+Officer+Ryan+Whittington%2C+an+Appalachian+State+graduate%2C+poses+in+front+of+University+Police+headquarters.+Whittington+was+named+App+States+2018+Police+Officer+of+the+Year.
Public Safety Officer Ryan Whittington, an Appalachian State graduate, poses in front of University Police headquarters. Whittington was named App State’s “2018 Police Officer of the Year.”

App State alumnus Ryan Whittington was named the “2018 Police Officer of the Year” by the Boone Optimist Club in May and received his plaque last week.

“The award is presented annually by the Boone Optimist Club as part of Optimist International’s Respect for Law week, which has been held since 1965,” according to the Watauga Democrat’s article on the 2014 recipient.

Since graduating in 2016 with a degree in Electronic Media and Broadcasting, Whittington has served on the force for almost two years and said he was shocked when he found out he would be receiving the award for “2018 Police Officer of the Year.”

“I just go out and do my job every day and do the best I can to serve campus and the community of Boone, but I am grateful for it,” Whittington said.

In the past, recipients of this award have maintained a variety of qualities. Some have received the award for a single heroic act, their quality of work over a year, or arrest statistics, according to Andy Stephenson, App State police chief.

“He displays the conduct that we expect of our police officers and is a great person to work with,” Stephenson said.

Both Whittington and Stephenson emphasized their appreciation for the recognition this award provides for police, as well as for their department that has supported them.

“I couldn’t have done everything without the men and women that I work with,” Whittington said. “It’s not just me, it is all of us together.”

Whittington is involved in several areas of community involvement, including safety presentations, programming and civilian/reporter ride along requests.

“There is no specific criteria for this award,” Stephenson said. “Whittington’s award was more so for his involvement in the community and for staying productive.”

The Boone Optimist Club asked the department to vote on who should receive the award, and then supervisors made the final decision, according to Stephenson.

Optimist International’s mission statement is that “by providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in youth, our communities and ourselves,” according to their website.

Story by Rachel Greenland

Photo by Patrick McCabe

Featured photo caption: Public Safety Officer Ryan Whittington, an Appalachian State graduate, poses in front of University Police headquarters. Whittington was named App State’s “2018 Police Officer of the Year.”

Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

About the Contributor
Rachel Greenland, Reporter
Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal