LIMA — “If I can make it, you can make it.”
Ohio State University Police Chief Craig Stone relayed that simple message Tuesday to the junior class at Lima Senior High School. Stone said he was aware of claims that there are not opportunities for some in Lima. He said he didn’t want to go the political route, instead offering four reference points that he said would help anyone become successful.
“There are four things that will make you successful,” Stone said. “Do more than what is required, be a lifelong learner, live a healthy lifestyle, and seek out a mentor.”
Stone said he was aware of the stereotypes that come with growing up on the south side of Lima, but said that he had good teachers, role models and a mother who supported him. Stone graduated from Lima Senior in 1978.
“My mom made sure I did the right thing,” Stone said. “Everything you do will affect you later on. I learned skills while cleaning a doctor’s office, scrubbing toilets and other things, that got me to where I am today. Now I am the chief of a police force of an area with a population of 100,000, 250,000 on game day.”
Stone urged that some examples for doing more than what is required was on schoolwork.
“If the teacher tells you to do all the odd numbered problems, do them all,” Stone said.
He urged students to get involved with clubs, athletics or student government. He said go the extra mile if you have a job.
“I am an employer and I look for a well-rounded person,” Stone said. “I have been getting a paycheck since I was 14, so I learned to work. At work, do not wait on your boss to tell you what to do. Do it. If you see something laying on the floor, pick it up.”
Stone also urged students to not stop at getting a diploma. He said to go onto college or a trade skill to develop more skills. He also said it was important to stay healthy by working out daily and staying away from drugs and alcohol.
Stone said the OSU Police Department was fortunate Nov. 28 when the campus reached national news. Abdul Razak Ali Artan was shot and killed after injuring 11 people with a knife.
“We had a lot of blessings that day,” Stone said. “We had an officer who volunteered to go down there on a gas leak call. The building was evacuated. There were officers on the scene to direct traffic and the fire department was there because of the gas leak. The officer had just completed active shooter training 100 days before the incident. We were in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, the suspect did not follow verbal commands and was shot to end the threat.”
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm.