Family and friends pay respects to first African American state trooper

Louis Sharp (Photos courtesy the Ohio State Highway Patrol)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Louis Sharp, a prominent figure and part of Ohio’s history as he served as Ohio’s first African American state trooper, passed away last week at the age of 85. On Monday, many remembered the man who they say paved the way for others.

Family, friends and dozens of local law enforcement gathered at Christ the King Catholic Church where many came out to honor a man who gave so much to his community. Followed by a funeral procession led by the Ohio State Highway Patrol to Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery.

Sharp’s grandson Justin Sharp uses the word strong to describe his grandfather, “I don’t know too many people stronger than he was,” said Justin Sharp. “Somebody willing to help others, he was loving and wanted everybody to succeed.”

Sharp is considered a role model by many like Staff Lieutenant Chuck Jones, “Being the first African-American trooper commissioned to the highway patrol has a special meaning for all of us.”

Paving the way for others in law enforcement.

“A mentor to many of the African American troopers on the highway patrol, it was truly a blessing to be in his presence,” said Jones.

The State Highway Patrol was just a start on Louis Sharp’s journey. Adding to the list of Sharp’s accomplishments in 1980 he was elected as Mayor of Urbancrest and recently inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

“It made me proud of being who I am caring his last name and being able to give that to my children,” said Justin Sharp.

“Somebody that we adore that we’re going to sadly miss,” said Jones. “I’m going to miss his smile and his kind words, know that Mr. Sharp is in a better place and he’s looking down on us with a big smile.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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