Local Chief Honored for Community Service | News, Sports, Jobs

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SPECIAL RECOGNITION — Wintersville Police Chief Art Fowler, left, received the Distinguished Law Enforcement Community Service Award from the Ohio Attorney General by Dwight Holcomb, executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. This is one of several Attorney General Dave Yost introduced to Buckeye State Law Enforcement for 2021. — Contributed

WINTERSVILLE — A local law enforcement official has been recognized by the state attorney general for the time he spent away from his police vehicle and out of uniform.

Village Police Chief Art Fowler received the Attorney General Dave Yost Award for Distinguished Community Service in Law Enforcement for his work involving the area’s youth and seniors.

Yost noted Fowler’s involvement with the Jefferson County I-Team for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the recognition he received from Jefferson County Job and Family Services for his efforts to educate the public about elder abuse.

He added that Fowler serves on the board of directors of A Caring Place Child Advocacy Center, which educates the community about child abuse and helps law enforcement investigate allegations.

Fowler’s efforts to encourage young people and present them with a positive image of law enforcement were also recognized.

Fowler said he had been coaching for the Ohio Valley Youth Football League, where his son was a player, when he was approached by Trey Jeter of the Sycamore Youth Center to talk and work with teenagers from a variety of backgrounds.

He was also a drug abuse resistance education worker in the local Indian Creek School District for 20 years.

When asked what led him to get involved with local youth, Fowler said that growing up in Toronto, “I didn’t have many and could easily have been a statistic.”

Fowler said the positive influence of teachers in the Toronto school system and the city’s firefighters has a lot to do with the path he took in life.

“Maybe I can be that difference to a kid, like they were to me,” said the 1996 graduate of Toronto high school.

Fowler’s first job in emergency response was as a dispatcher for the Toronto Police Service when he was 18 years old.

He was also a volunteer firefighter and volunteer division chief for the city fire department and a volunteer driver for the TEMS ambulance service.

He has served in other volunteer fire departments and with the Saline Township Emergency Medical Services Team and continues to serve as an Emergency Medical Technician and Firefighter in Hopedale.

Fowler entered the law enforcement field in 1997 and worked part-time for a handful of Jefferson County departments and as a corrections officer for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department before accepting a full-time position with the Wintersville Police Department.

Fowler, who started as a volunteer auxiliary officer for Wintersville in 2001, was named chief in 2015.

He said he became interested in law enforcement at a very young age.

Fowler was one of many law enforcement officers recognized, for various accomplishments, at the state attorney general’s annual law enforcement conference.

“There are officers all over Ohio who heroically serve our communities every day and are the backbone of the civil society we all enjoy,” said Yost. “The honored officers represent the best of these heroes and I am proud of their dedication to protecting the unprotected.”

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