City council gives final “OORAH” for retiring lieutenant
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 00:03
Tears were shed at the Oxford City Council meeting Tuesday, March 4. Many were sad to see Daniel Umbstead, lieutenant of the Oxford Police Department (OPD), retire after 31 years of service.
Umbstead was hired to work as an OPD patrol officer Oct. 12, 1981. Five years later, he was hired as patrol sergeant and in 1996 was given the position of police lieutenant. He was also the commander of Oxford’s Criminal Investigations Unit.
Robert Holzworth, OPD police chief, stood before the members of City Council and discussed the difficulty of seeing a person like Umbstead leave the staff because of the impact he made on people’s lives and the workforce.
“Not only is he a wonderful, and let me underscore wonderful, mentor for young police officers, because he is truly that, but he is also an inquisitive investigator,” Holzworth said.
Umbstead had a significant impact on creating OPD’s Blue Uniform Support Team (B.U.S.T.). According to Holzworth, B.U.S.T. was then called the Special Response Team, which merged with the Butler County Swat team to train officers in preparedness for chaotic, dangerous situations.
“I will truly miss him, we all will; the whole division of police will truly miss this man of OPD,” Holzworth said. “He has certainty left an extremely large footprint on our organization, one that will not soon, yet never be forgotten.”
During the meeting, Holzworth gave Umbstead his retired police officer ID card along with a retirement certificate and retired member card. In addition, he received a retirement pin from Brian Robinson, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 38 and personal friend, for exceeding in his position and for his influence on the workforce.
Susan Meyer, who is on the Oxford Police Advisory Board, presented a plaque from the citizens of Oxford to Umbstead for his 31 years of dedicated and selfless service.
“He served the community well, he is known through our schools, he comes and sees the children and they look forward to seeing him,” Myers said. “He is very well respected.”
Not only did Umbstead work for OPD, but he was also head of the Respect for Law Camp for 15 years, along with partner Tom Horvath, another OPD lieutenant.
Respect for Law Camp, established in 1994, is a three-day weekend trip in Butler County where young adults can learn respect for the law and law enforcement.
Candace Keller, current director of Respect for Law Camp, recognized Umbstead’s work for the organization.
“Dan had a way of making kids and cops believe they were part of something great,” Keller said.
According to Keller, more than 16,000 kids have graduated from Law Camp. Umbstead created Law Camp’s flag, which represents respect, teamwork, leadership, spirit and kindness.
“Law camp didn’t define him, he defined law camp,” Keller said. “He was our first leader and he set the bar high.”
Every morning, an energetic Umbstead woke up the 150 campers by yelling “law camp,” to which they would reply: “oorah!” It was a tradition he used to get kids pumped up, according to Keller.
“One thing’s for sure, if you were to say to [the campers] ‘oorah,’ they would answer back and say ‘law camp,’ and they would remember Lieutenant Dan,” Keller said through her tears.
At the end of the speeches, Umbstead rose to say a few final words.
“A long time ago, I wanted to do something worth while with my life,;I wanted to make my mark on my community and serve,” Umbstead said. “I truly wanted to serve, as corny as that sounds, and the Oxford Police Department took me on. I can tell you that’s probably the strangest thing about saying goodbye to people, but leaving life of service, its strange, and I’m not settled with that just yet.”
Umbstead continued to thank Oxford for his time working at OPD.
“But I wanted to say thank you to the city of Oxford,” he said, “They allowed me to have my great wish with my life and that was to serve this community, and I thank you so much for that.”