Three new police officers have begun patrolling Kent’s campus this semester

Kelly Byer


Credit: DKS Editors


Credit: DKS Editors



Credit: DKS Editors

Three new officers have joined the ranks of the Kent State University Police department this semester.

Officers William Scritchfield, Brittnei Neely and Cheryl Dolensky started between Sept. 22 and Oct. 6.

“We think Will and Brittnei and Cheryl are going to make a big contribution, and they’re going to be part of this family,” Police Lieutenant William Buckbee said.

The job search began last November when the department anticipated several vacancies, Buckbee said.

There were few applicants, however, so the process, was suspended.

“I think, in part, it’s because when you run a process and there isn’t a job available, it lessens the amount of people who are actually going to participate,” Buckbee said.

After positions became available, Buckbee said the department re-opened the hiring process in April, combining the November candidates with new applicants.

The department may fill more positions in the future because many supervisors and lieutenants are eligible to retire, and one has the intention to next year.

“We’re at a stage in our agency where we have a lot of people who are going to be retiring, and we have a culture here that we really like,” Buckbee said. “So, we’re trying to plan for that and prepare for it.”

The hiring process for the officers involved multiple tests, an extensive background check and interview.

“It shows a lot of endurance to go through such a lengthy process with so many different steps,” Buckbee said.

The department will keep a list of other candidates for a year, so when positions become available, they can be filled quickly, Buckbee said.

Cheryl Dolensky

Start Date: Oct. 6

Hometown: Tallmadge

Age: 30

School: University of Akron Police Academy

Favorite Police Academy memory: She enjoyed learning to shoot shotguns and handguns. “The range was a lot of fun,” she said.

Reason for choosing law enforcement: She found criminal justice classes interesting and likes to help others. “I always liked stepping in and helping when I can,” she said.

First impression of Kent State: Dolensky attended Kent State for three years as an undergraduate after high school and said she “loved every minute of it.”

What she looks forward to: She’s looking forward to working proactively with students. “I’m looking forward to working Halloween and the football games. I think that’ll be a lot of fun,” she said.

Favorite sport and team: She is a fan of baseball and the Cleveland Indians.

Other interests: She enjoys cooking and likes making homemade meatballs, a recipe from The Sopranos Family Cookbook. “They’re the best,” she said.

Brittnei Neely

Start Date: Sept. 29

Hometown: Lorain

Age: 22

School: Kent State Law Enforcement Education Center

Best Police Academy memory: She enjoyed meeting a lot of new people, such as lieutenants and detectives. “They shared so much knowledge with me because they’ve been in law enforcement for maybe 30 years-plus,” she said.

Reason for choosing law enforcement: She said she hopes to make a difference with the campus and help protect the people she works with. “You hope to make a mark in someone’s life,” she said.

First impression of Kent State: She enjoyed her four years as a student but will have a new perspective as a police officer. “I’ll actually be working for the university rather than attending the university for my education,” she said.

What she looks forward to: Because this is her first law enforcement job, she doesn’t really know what to expect but will take everything as it comes. “I’m just looking forward to making a difference,” she said, “Especially on campus, since I was a student on that campus.”

Favorite sport and team: She’s a big fan of basketball. “My favorite team is the Los Angeles Lakers,” she said.

Other interests: She enjoys helping others by volunteering at a nursing home where her mother works ,and has participated in Kent State’s NAACP chapter, starting as a secretary and ending as the president.

“Just to see it grow and develop so much over the past four years that I’ve been there, that’s something that I’m still passionate about,” she said.

William Scritchfield

Start Date: Sept. 22

Hometown: Uniontown

Age: 33

School: University of Akron Police Academy

Best Police Academy memory: He said he enjoyed the whole experience, but especially enjoyed firearms training. “It was a lot of time spent at the gun range,” he said, “Just shooting and learning different things that I just found very interesting.”

Reason for choosing law enforcement: He’s always wanted to be a part of law enforcement. “I’ve just always had a respect for the military in general and law enforcement.”

First impression of Kent State: Because he was never a student, he didn’t know much about the university until he began work, but he likes the environment. “I was surprised by the enrollment, of the amount of students, and just the campus in general,” he said.

What he looks forward to: He looks forward to all aspects of the job. “I’m just glad to be where I’m at, at this point in the whole process,” he said.

Favorite sport and team: His favorite professional team is the Cleveland Indians.

Other interests: He likes to golf and is involved with his son’s baseball team.

Contact safety reporter Kelly Byer at at [email protected].