MANSFIELD — Government leaders recognized Mansfield University Director of Police Services and Chief of Police Scott Henry this week for receiving the 2020 Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars John Radko Police Officer of the Year Award and the VFW National Law Enforcement Officer Award.

Henry graduated from Mansfield University in 1984 and was named to his current post in 2017. Prior to that, he worked seven years as a detective in the Tioga County district attorney’s office. He is a retired Pennsylvania state trooper, served as a criminal investigator in Montoursville and has experience in corporate security, according to a press release from the university.

Henry also co-founded the MU Public Safety Training Institute, “which provides a centralized training site for all first responders and has been an advocate for cross-training practitioners outside their primary duties,” a press release stated.

In a surprise presentation Monday morning, Congressman Fred Keller, Representative Clint Owlett, an aide for Senator Joe Scarnati, MU President Charles Patterson and the Tioga County commissioners honored Henry’s achievements.

“We wanted to bring you some citations and bring our congratulations and show our appreciation for all of the work that you have done for our community,” Owlett said. “It means so much to all of us.”

Deb Rudy, field representative in Scarnati’s office, presented him with a citation from the state Senate; and spoke about Henry’s impact.

“Not only is he impacting our community, he’s impacting the state. It’s a pretty amazing thing, how many people you have trained,” Rudy said. She said Scarnati was very impressed with Henry’s work and is grateful for everything he does for Mansfield University and others.

“Since his enlistment, Chief Henry has faithfully endeavored to preserve and protect the health, safety and welfare of his fellow citizens in the finest spirit of public service,” Rudy read from the citation from the state Senate. “He’s demonstrated exemplary knowledge, ability and integrity in carrying out his many responsibilities.”

Owlett said when he was preparing what to say during the presentation, four words came to his mind when he thought about Henry: courageous, creative, community and changemaker.

He said Henry has been courageous and brave in his service, creative in finding ways to improve, is community oriented and because of those things, he is a changemaker.

“This place is a better community and place for all of us to live because of your service,” Owlett said.

Keller said he recently met Henry and immediately knew he had good character and a good heart.

“Not only have you done the work that you’ve done throughout your lifetime, but you’ve also trained others to do the same thing. That’s a legacy that will live on for a long time to come, many generations,” Keller said.

“You’ve received the VFW award from people that know how to keep us safe and protect us. To me, that’s the highest. That would mean everything in the world to me, and you’ve done it,” Keller said.

Patterson said he appreciated everyone coming out to honor Henry for the work he’s done for the university and for Henry’s dedication.

“There’s no other person that is as passionate about Mansfield University than Scott Henry. He’s an asset to this campus, to our institute, to our academy, and to our students all across this campus,” Patterson said.

Tioga County Commissioner Erick Coolidge, on behalf of the board of commissioners, thanked him for all that he has done.

“We appreciate your service within the county’s role. I’ve had the privilege of knowing you personally on a number of positions and what we share in terms of our career in agriculture, but all the time we’re thinking about, ‘What makes a difference to others?’” Coolidge said. “On behalf of the county, we thank you for the work you do, the service you provide and the benefit of what all that work means to others.”

Henry said he did not anticipate any of this.

“There are better folks out there, in my opinion, that are more deserving. I’m grateful for the opportunities over the years. It’s the quality of the folks I work with and the team approach,” Henry said.

“At this point in my life, the educational side is what it’s all about. Having an opportunity to maybe share in some aspect, daily, with our recruits and our practitioners and community members … we’re very grateful to have the opportunity to see our cadets and have that opportunity to maybe provide them some insight that will help them as they go about their future careers,” Henry said.

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