MANSFIELD – Mansfield University Director of Police Services and Chief of Police Scott Henry ’84 was honored with the 2020 Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) John Radko Police Officer of the Year Award and the VFW National Law Enforcement Officer Award.
These VFW awards are presented annually to a law enforcement officer who has shown outstanding dedication and loyalty to the profession. Henry was presented with the awards by VFW Post 6757 Commander Dan Rieppel on Thursday at a small, socially-distant ceremony at North Manser Hall on campus.
“Chief Henry unquestionably deserves to be recognized for the positive impact he has made at our university and in our region,” said Dr. Josh Battin, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Mansfield University. “It was his vision, ability to collaborate, and outstanding leadership that led to the creation of MUPSTI and the improvements made in his department.
“His work will undoubtedly be felt by generations to come.”
A 1984 graduate of Mansfield University, Henry was named Director of Police Services and Chief of Police in 2017, bringing with him more than 31 years of law enforcement experience. Before accepting the position at Mansfield, Henry worked seven years as a Detective in the Tioga County, PA District Attorney’s Office. He is also a retired Pennsylvania State Trooper, served as a criminal investigator in Montoursville and has experience in corporate security.
Henry co-founded the MU Public Safety Training Institute (MUPSTI), which provides a centralized training site for all first responders and has been an advocate for cross-training practitioners outside their primary duties. Since the spring of 2018, MUPSTI has provided over 121 training programs in law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical disciplines to over 1,600 students, clocking more than 47,000 contact hours.
Prior to the creation of MUPSTI, local public safety practitioners traveled to training opportunities in other areas of the state or did not attend trainings due to financial and/or logistical restraints. Practitioners from around the Commonwealth and beyond now travel to Mansfield University for their training needs.
Henry has embraced advanced technology in the training of law enforcement and other public safety disciplines with the implementation of virtual reality. The Mansfield University Act 120 Municipal Training Academy curriculum was the first in the state to incorporate virtual reality to provide future law enforcement officers realistic experience in a variety of scenarios. The use of virtual reality training for first responders has spread across the country, a testament to Henry’s forethought and understanding of the training needs for public safety practitioners.
Henry also restructured the Mansfield University Police Department to be more efficient and has allocated funds to provide continuous training to university police officers.
“Having the opportunity to work with our young men and women daily, is an inspiration,” said Henry after being presented with the VFW awards. “These are difficult times we currently face in law enforcement and yet we see young men and women with commitment and integrity willing to step up and serve our communities and our people. I’m so grateful to be part of that educational process.”
For more information on the Mansfield University Public Safety Training Institute, visit mansfield.edu/mupsti.