State College Police

Two yard signs that read Black Lives Matter and Thank You Police Officers displayed side by side
Emily Reddy / WPSU

The State College Borough Council passed its 2021 budget Monday night. The budget will fund the creation of two community-based groups to address issues stemming from the 2019 police killing of Osaze Osagie. 

In a 5 to 2 vote, the Council approved a budget of more than $69 million in expenses and $59 million in revenue. With a nearly $10 million projected shortfall, the borough will leave six currently vacant positions unfunded in the new year, including two police officers.  

In this file photo, marchers participate in a May 31, 2020, protest in State College against police brutality and racism.
Min Xian / WPSU

A State College community group that’s been pushing for police reform is encouraging members of the public to voice their opinions at a public hearing the borough is holding Monday night for its 2021 proposed budget, including police funding.

“The police officers are supposed to serve and protect the community, and as of now, we don’t feel as if they’re doing that," said Tierra Williams, co-chair of the 3/20 Coalition, a local group pushing for police reforms. 

A Pennsylvania Department of Health graphic urges people to "Know the Symptoms of COVID-19," which can be spread through close contact.
PA Department of Health


It’s a warm spring night in State College, and Penn State students are gathering in yards and on porches. There’s music. There’s beer pong. But, social distancing and face masks? Not so much.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State moved its summer classes online, and most students aren’t in town. That doesn’t mean student socilializing has disappeared.


State College police say they’re focused on educating partiers about the coronavirus safety guidelines.


Centre County Holds Citizens' Police Academy

Nov 7, 2019
Officer Adam Salyards shows participants examples of tactical gear.
Brittany Krugel / WPSU

This year marks the second time that police departments within Centre County have offered the Centre County Citizens’ Police Academy

This week, the 20 or so participants are learning about the Centre County Tactical Team.

In late August when applications first went public, State College residents like Laura Zimmerman applied to participate.

Attorney Kathleen Yurcak stands next to Iyunolu and Sylvester Osagie Sept. 12, 2019, during a press conference
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Attorneys for the family of the 29-year-old State College man who was fatally shot by police in March have filed a notice of plans to sue the State College police. At a press conference Thursday, attorneys said they believe the death was avoidable and want access to all information in the case.

With Osaze Osagie’s parents standing behind them, lawyers for the family — including Andrew Celli — said the legal filing is the first step in holding the system responsible.

John Gardner at podium
Min Xian / WPSU

State College police released new details about the homicides on Jan. 24 that left three victims and the gunman dead, including that the shooter had a blood alcohol level of 0.223 percent. That's nearly three times the standard legal limit for driving in the United States.

Police said their investigation into the incident that started at P.J. Harrigan's Bar & Grill at the Ramada Conference Center on South Atherton Street is now closed. 

Osaze Osagie, a 29-year-old State College man, was fatally shot by police on March 20, 2019.
Osagie Family

Attorney Andrew Shubin says the parents of Osaze Osagie feel enormous grief, as any parent would if they lost their son.

“But, in this situation, it’s far more complicated and really devastating, because you have a parent who reached out for help, who set the wheels in motion for what eventually wound up as a police shooting of their son," Shubin said.

Several hundred people gathered at the Allen Street Gates in State College Thursday for a vigil for Osaze Osagie, who was fatally shot by police officers on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
Min Xian / WPSU

When the State College group Community and Campus in Unity met Monday night, the focus was on the fatal shooting of Osaze Osagie and rebuilding community trust.

“Thank you for everyone’s comments so far and questions. I’m warmed by the fact that so many people are here, because Osaze has been heavy on my heart," said State College resident Eric Ian Farmer. "One hundred and three years of a police department without killing any resident. What about this particular event or incident, was so unique?”

Gathererers at vigil hold picture of man shot by police
Min Xian / WPSU

Several hundred people gathered for a vigil at the Allen Street Gates in State College Thursday evening for the man who was fatally shot by police Wednesday. 

“We are gathered here tonight to honor the life of a 29-year-old African-American male, Osaze Osagie,” said Danieltta Pantoe, a Penn State junior and president of the Student Black Caucus, as she led the vigil to remember Osagie.

Osagie was fatally shot by State College police Wednesday. Police went to his apartment for a mental health check, and he reportedly confronted them with a knife.

Police Chief Gardner at a podium
Anne Danahy / WPSU


State College police fatally shot a man in an apartment on Old Boalsburg Road Wednesday while attempting to serve a mental health warrant. The case has been turned over to Pennsylvania state police.

“I stand before you with a heavy heart to provide you with a statement regarding a 29-year-old African-American male who died in a police-involved shooting today," State College Police Chief John Gardner said during a press conference Wednesday.

Outside of P.J. Harrigan's restaurant
Kristine Allen / WPSU

State College police are still trying to find what drove a 21-year-old man to kill three people and seriously injure another before killing himself Thursday night. 

State College Police Chief John Gardner said detectives are looking into every possible angle to find answers about why Jordan Witmer fatally shot three people.

John Gardner at podium
Min Xian / WPSU

State College police are still trying to determine the motive behind a shooting Thursday night that left three victims and the shooter dead. 

The incident began at P.J. Harrigan’s Bar & Grill on South Atherton Street in State College. The shooter, Jordan Witmer, had been at the bar with Nicole Abrino since about 8:30 p.m. According to police, before 10:15 p.m. Witmer shot Abrino, 21; and Dean Beachy, 62, and his 19-year-old son, Steven.