LIMA — A new scholarship formed in honor of the late Lima City Police Chief William K. Davenport, Lima’s first black chief of police from 1968-1978, aims to diversify the ranks of local law enforcement.
The Walter C. Potts Entrepreneur and Incubator Technology Center on Tuesday unveiled the Chief William K. Davenport Memorial Scholarship to help African American students studying at Apollo Career Center’s basic police academy.
“This is a grassroots effort,” said LPD Chief Kevin Martin. “A group of people within our community and identified a problem. They realized we need more diversity within the workforce at the police department. And rather than just saying somebody should do something about it, this same group of people got together and said, ‘This is what we will do about it.’”
Martin said he looks forward to seeing the fruits of the scholarship “in the not-so-distant future.”
The scholarship will be funded by proceeds from the Walter C. Potts Center’s annual Community Enrichment Dinner. It is intended to train officers who will work for the Lima Police Department and surrounding law enforcement agencies.
Davenport’s great granddaughter, Erica Davenport, described the scholarship as the “perfect” embodiment of the late police chief’s legacy.
“William Davenport was more than just a chief,” she said. “He was a man of love, care, guidance and wisdom. … We hope that this scholarship is as much of a blessing to the recipient as it is to our family.”
The scholarship will be available to African American students accepted into Apollo’s basic police academy. Applicants must also work and reside within Allen County.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.