COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio State Highway Patrol has announced the death of its first African American trooper, Louis “Lou” Dale Sharp.
“The Ohio State Highway Patrol is mourning the passing of Patrolman Louis Sharp, known as a pioneer, mentor and friend,” the OSHP said in a Facebook page Friday.
According to the OHSP, Sharp became the first African-American to serve as an Ohio State Highway Patrolman when he graduated with the 44th Academy class in 1955 and was assigned to the Findlay Post. At this time, Patrolman Sharp was the only minority member out of 700 employees.
“The late Lieutenant Colonel Floyd C. Moon described Patrolman Sharp as a man of strength, easily completing all aspects of his training,” OSHP said in the post.
After nine months with the OSHP, Sharp left the patrol for a different career opportunity to spend time with his growing family, but he stayed actively involved in the community.
He became an educator and principal at Pope John XXIII/Holy Rosary and other educational institutions, and was also elected the mayor of Urbancrest.
He was recently inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame.