John T. Osborn, Jr., began his career as a patrolman in Amherst in 1971, after having served for 20 years in the United States Air Force and retiring as a Senior Master Sergeant. “JTO”, as he was affectionately known by his officers, had no prior experience as a police officer but quickly rose to the rank of Chief at a time when the police force in Amherst consisted of roughly seven employees. During his 16 year tenure as head of the agency, Chief Osborn ushered in a new era of professionalism which established the well-deserved reputation for excellence that the Amherst Police Department continues to build upon and enjoy to this day.
Following Chief Osborn’s unfortunate and premature passing in 1991, the Amherst Police Association formed a memorial scholarship in his name. By design, the scholarship is awarded each year to a deserving Amherst high school senior who intends to pursue a college degree in criminal justice.
Twenty-five years later, all of Chief Osborn’s 1991 officers have either retired or moved on to positions with other agencies. Although the Amherst Police Association’s current membership never knew or worked for Chief Osborn, they continue to honor his legacy by funding this scholarship and keeping his memory alive.
Past recipients of the John T. Osborn Memorial Scholarship:
2016- Elizabeth Manchester; 2015 – No Recipient; 2014 – Tyler Swenson; 2013- No Recipient; 2012 – Eric Howard; 2011 – Molly Duff; 2010 – Andrew Emerson; 2009 – Kevin Coffey; 2008 – Charissa Roche; 2007 – Samantha April; 2006 – Kaely Curtis; 2005 – Daniel Urbanik; 2004 – Alissa Kozak; 2003 – Josh Santos; 2002 – Brenna McCarthy; 2001 – April D’Andrea; 2000 – Patrick Poro; 1999 – Erin Kelly; 1998 – Christopher Langille; 1997 – Kimly Brown; 1996 – Esther De Hollander; 1995 – Melissa Ruffini; 1994 – John Swanson; 1993 – Abbey Dinoff; 1992 – Michael Cassidy.
2014 recipient, Tyler Swenson (pictured with SHS School Resource Officer John Smith)