Interview with Chief Lopez

If you’ve taken part in Wittenberg University’s tradition of streaking the Hollow, Interim Chief of Police Mark Lopez has probably seen you naked on the security cameras while he’s been on duty.

Before Wittenberg, Lopez spent about nine years at Clark State Community College, but said that he hopes to spend the rest of career at Wittenberg because he loves the family atmosphere, as opposed to Clark State’s non-residential design.

“You’re not walking into a classroom, you’re walking into someone’s house,” said Lopez.

A California native, Lopez has seen crazier things than streaking college students during his last nine years at Wittenberg, including responding to a Sprecher fire alarm and finding that the resident was cooking a squirrel. Lopez said that he went into his career because he wanted to help people by being supportive, and chose to work at a college because it is easier to correct mistakes at a young age.

“Alcohol really impacts the majority of what people do,” said Lopez, 39. “It is responsible for 90 percent of things, including sexual assault.” One incident Lopez mentioned was responding to a car crash on College and Woodlawn Avenues, where a 19-year-old female student had rolled her car onto the roof, and later tested  .191 for her blood alcohol content. The legal limit for someone under 21 is .02, so she was nearly 10 times the legal limit at the time of the crash.

In his free time, Lopez likes to watch shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones.” In the future, he would like to be Wittenberg’s Chief of Police, for which he recently submitted an application. Lopez said that if he was not an officer, he would still do investigative work.

“We’re here to serve the students—that’s the whole purpose of a community.”

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