COTC Instructor Named Top Cop

Deputy Teresa Holmes first female to receive Licking County Prosecutor Office Award

NEWARK, Ohio, Aug. 13, 2018 – Licking County Sheriff's Office Deputy Teresa Holmes chuckled to herself when the prosecutor she was working a case with said he was nominating her to be named Licking County's Top Cop for the month of June. She never thought the honor would be hers. On July 27 she humbly accepted it saying, "Thank you for this award, but I didn't close this case alone."

ImageDeputy Holmes received the award for her work on a case involving a victim who had been burglarized by repeat offenders on more than one occasion.The Top Cop award is given to a law enforcement officer for their "steadfast and exemplary casework." Their dedication to serving the citizens of Licking County and fellow police officers sets them apart as being worthy of the honor.

"He (the victim) didn't have much faith in law enforcement or the justice system. I took that personally," said Holmes. "When he told me that, I wanted to make sure he received justice this time."

According to Holmes, the case began last fall and the trial concluded this June, the month for which she was named Top Cop.

She has been with the sheriff's office for 15 years. Her career in law enforcement began after her personal experiences. Holmes was a victim of domestic violence.

"The mindset of the law enforcement officers who handled my case at the time was the determining factor. It was apparent there was work to be done when it came to understanding the dynamics behind domestic violence," she said.

This desire to make an impact is why Holmes started teaching. She joined Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) in October 2015 teaching CPR/first aid, but now she uses her personal experiences in teaching about domestic violence, community diversity and procedural justice and critical injury first aid.

"I believe in paying things forward. I am passionate about teaching, and I was given the opportunity to share my experiences with the students of COTC to better educate them in such topics," Holmes said. "I believe teaching these topics will give them a better understanding of what they will be facing in the field as a law enforcement officer."

COTC's Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training program meets the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission requirements and allows successful graduates of the program to take the state certification exam.  Students participate in over 728 hours of training. According to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and Academy 2016 Annual Report, COTC cadets score five percent higher on the peace officer state certification exam than the statewide average.

The program offers two schedule tracks to help students reach their goal. The accelerated program lasts approximately 15 weeks. It is typically held 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and requires some weekend and evening class work. The evening program lasts approximately seven months. It is typically held 5:30-10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and requires some weekend training. Graduates of the Peace Officer Basic Training program earn college credits that can be applied toward an Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement Technology.

According to Ohio Labor Market Information, the median annual salary of police and sheriff's patrol officers is $61,211. To register for an information session or learn more about COTC's Peace Officer Basic Training program, visit or contact Commander Jeff Sowards at

More information about all programs offered through COTC's Institute for Public Safety and Services can be found at

Caption: Chaplain Cliff Biggers, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp, Deputy Teresa Holmes, Assistant Prosecutor Clifford Murphy

COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.