National Police Week: COTC Criminal Justice Graduate Helps Capture Escapee

NEWARK, Ohio, May 15, 2017 – Central Ohio Technical College is marking Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15) and National Police Week​ (May 14 - 20) by celebrating the accomplishments of one of its graduates. Newark Police Officer Bill Evans, a 2010 Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) criminal justice technology graduate, believes training he got at COTC helped him capture a fugitive, Justin Stanley, who had escaped from a correctional facility in Nelsonville. Evans was off duty on Monday, April 3 when he decided to stop for lunch at a restaurant on North 21st Street in Newark. 

"I was sitting there eating lunch with several other people. Stanley walked in, and I knew I recognized him," said Evans. "At COTC, the instructors always drilled into me to trust my instincts and evaluate the entire situation. They told us not to profile people, but to look at the whole picture and start to investigate deeper. You can tell a lot about a person by observing. You can watch their eyes and see if they are clenching their fists or if they are jittery. I looked him over and observed that the man's nose was crooked. It was then that I was sure I recognized him from somewhere."

Evans took out his phone and looked at the latest emails from the police department. There was an alert message that said to be on the lookout for Stanley with his mugshot attached. The email said Stanley had been convicted on a burglary charge in Fairfield County and was one of three people who had escaped from the correctional facility.

"I knew that was him," said Evans. "When Stanley walked out of the restaurant, I started to follow him and called the police department to send other officers."

When the other officers arrived, Stanley took off running. Even though Evans was off duty, he chased Stanley and was able to tackle him. "I held him down until the other officers got there to handcuff him," said Evans. "My instincts took over, and we were able to all work together to put Stanley back in jail."

Evans said it was a case of being at the right place at the right time. He loves being a police officer and is thankful for the education and training he got at COTC. "I'm honored to be able to be a police officer in my hometown," said Evans. "I was glad I was there that day and was able to help put this man back behind bars."

To learn more about the criminal justice technology program at COTC, visit

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. 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.