Meet Mike White – Leadership Coshocton County Class of 2021

| December 8, 2020

Mike White is a native of Coshocton County; attending Sacred Heart School through eighth grade followed by Ridgewood High School, where he graduated in 1991. With a love for science and math, White attended the University of Akron, majoring in construction engineering and surveying. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1996 and began to work in the field, required to be eligible to take the exam to become a Professional Engineer (PE).  At the same time, then Coshocton Count Sheriff Dave Corbett gave White an application to the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy (OPOTA), as he was interested in becoming an auxiliary police officer. With one year remaining to take the PE exam, White decided to change careers, as he states, “My heart was always in law enforcement.” He graduated from the academy in 1999 and started with the sheriff’s office in November of the same year.

White started out in the jail; moved on to dispatch and eventually patrol.  Today White is a road patrol sergeant, working swing shift. He is also the Special Response Team (SRT) Commander; firearms and taser instructor and also an ALICE (active shooter training) instructor. Working swing shift White says, “Every shift has its ‘flavor of the day.’” Day shift consists of court and inmate transports; second shift transitions to “a little bit of everything”- domestics; fights, etc. Third shift varies, with weekends consisting of “drunks” and fights, while during the week, they are checking for locked doors on businesses. He enjoys being able to utilize his background in engineering, whether it be for property line disputes, or in an accident investigation.   When asked what he enjoyed most, White said, “SRT is the most fun, but as commander, I mostly sit in the back and oversee everything. It can be nerve-wracking but exciting.” It should come as no surprise, his least favorite is the paperwork, as a supervisor, he review’s everyone’s reports.

White is a member of Three Rivers Masonic Lodge in Coshocton and enjoys running half-marathons and triathlons with his wife.

Dean Hettinger had suggested participating in Leadership Coshocton County years ago when he was a participant, but due to his shift-schedule, White wasn’t able to participate. He had talked to Kevin Cichon about the class and his sister, Amy White Bourne a member of the 2020 class, encouraged him to apply. This time his schedule worked out. White said, “Dean talked highly about the program … Everyone I have talked to said it was a fantastic program and that I would get a lot out of it. I am looking forward to learning more about Coshocton and ways to get involved. Taking this class is ‘outside the box’ for me. I never would have had interactions with the others and am enjoying getting to know them.”

White has a strong, positive opinion of the community, stating, “It’s a great community, and it bothers me when I hear people say, ‘Coshocton doesn’t have anything to offer,’ or ‘there’s nothing to do.’ There’s always something to do or something going on. The artPARK, school plays, Triple Locks Theatre… always something going on. You just have to look for it.” He also stressed the impact Kirby Hasseman and The Thompson’s have had on Main Street downtown to give Coshocton that “little push.” He admits, Coshocton does have its problems – and he sees them more than most – but they (the sheriff’s office) “work really hard at keeping it down.” He appreciates the support the sheriff’s department receives from the community, mentioning the K-9 program being community supported, as well as the SRT vest donated by a previous LCC class.

To make the county stronger, Whites “continuing in the direction we’re going,” Main Street revitalization and bringing businesses to Coshocton. He sees the pendulum swinging toward a “recognition that Coshocton is a good community with excellent schools and resources;” but he’d like to see an increased awareness of opportunities as well as more community involvement.

White would “absolutely” recommend Leadership Coshocton to others and has “already talked to a couple people about it.” He “loves how much you learn about Coshocton,” and is amazed at how much he’s learned about the history. He thinks “everyone should go through the program; to learn about what is going on; gain a better sense of the community and a sense of pride.  It has opened my eyes as to what the community has to offer.”

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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