The village of Ashley lost one of its best on Sunday with the sudden passing of Doug Patrick, 61, a former police officer and longtime police chief in the community.
A Delaware resident and Hayes graduate, Patrick began serving as a part-time officer in Ashley following his graduation from the Central Ohio Police Officer Training Academy in 1992. He was hired as a full-time officer in 1994, and four years later, he was named Ashley’s chief of police, a title he held for 20 years until his retirement in 2018.
Current Ashley Police Chief Scott Santos, who worked under Patrick for five years prior to Patrick’s retirement, said of his former chief, “He definitely was a mentor. He was the first person I trained under as an officer.”
Santos said Patrick’s approach to policing a community was “very laid back,” with an emphasis on getting to know the community thoroughly. Patrick’s kind-hearted spirit allowed him to focus more on the people involved rather than the situation itself.
“He would definitely give the shirt off his back,” Santos said of Patrick. “I do know of a couple of times when he paid for food that a shoplifter was taking because it was intended for kids. His philosophy on community policing was the idea that the police department and its officers were here to serve the village and not to lord over or constantly be on the lookout for people doing little things wrong, writing tickets, and making arrests for every little offense.”
Santos said Patrick’s personable approach to understanding and knowing the community continues today within the Ashley Police Department.
“Just taking interest in the community,” he said when asked how Patrick’s impact is still felt today in the police department. “And by doing that, a lot of the community members don’t have any problem coming to you when they have an issue. There’s a level of trust there on both sides.”
“He was here 20-plus years and was a good person for the community,” Ashley Mayor Jim Nelson said. “He knew a lot of people and was able to diffuse a lot of situations just by him knowing people and being able to talk to them … Doug knew people’s personalities, and if they were having some trouble, he was able to talk to them before it became a real problem. He was a real people person.”
Nelson said he sees the standard set by Patrick continuing on under the leadership of Santos, who carries many of the same qualities as his predecessor and friend.
“Many of the qualities that Doug had, he passed them on to our present chief,” Nelson said. “Chief Santos has gotten involved with the community and knows its people.”
Visitation will be held on Friday, Nov. 20, from 11 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. in the Snyder Rodman Funeral Center, located at 101 Valleyside Drive in Delaware.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.