The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum
“Preserving the History of Law Enforcement in the Greater Cincinnati Area”
Police Chief George Patrick “Pat” Olvey
Pat was born August 30, 1940 in Louisville to George Henry (1908-1974) and Harriette Collins (Owens) Olvey. Between 1946 and 1951 his father moved the family to Indian Hill. Pat attended Indian Hill and Mariemont High Schools where he participated in Hi Y, Play Cast, Canteen, Junior Achievement, Football, Basketball, Tennis, and Golf and graduated in 1958. He attended Toledo University, Bowling Green State University, University of Cincinnati, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Union Institute.
Pat worked as a salesman for the Thompson Container Corporation, as a repairman for the Thermo-Fax Sales Corporation, and in the Owens-Illinois Glass Company factory until 1963. He also served as a volunteer firefighter in Mariemont.
Pat joined the Cincinnati Police Division on January 14, 1963 as a Police Recruit. On April 22, 1963 he was promoted to Patrolman, issued Badge 598, and assigned to District 6 (3295 Erie Avenue). He was rotated to District 1 (310 Lincoln Park Drive) on June 7, 1964. A year later, he transferred to Traffic Bureau (City Hall). He was promoted to Police Specialist on November 19, 1967, issued Badge PS-24, and assigned to the Juvenile Bureau where he served four years as School Resource Officer at Central, Walnut Hills, and Withrow High Schools. During 1968 Specialist Olvey was elected to the Board of Directors of the Hamilton County Police Association. During May 1969 in was a Pursuit Driving instructor at the Tri-County Speedway. During December 1969, the City Manager Krabach named Specialist Olvey and three other officers to Mayor Ruehlmann’s Drug Abuse Commission. On February 7, 1971 he transferred to the Vice Control Bureau.
He was promoted to Sergeant on October 22, 1972, issued Badge S-21, and reassigned to District 1. During the next month, Police Chief Carl V. Gooden appointed him and others to a task force to determine guidelines for Community Sector Policing in the district. During 1973 Sergeant Olvey was chosen to head the newly formed District One Anti-Crime Squad. During 1974, he successfully completed one of the first three-month police training courses at the DEA Academy. On August 24, 1975, he transferred to District 5 (1012 Ludlow Avenue). During 1976 he qualified Master as the tenth best pistol shot in the Division. On January 30, 1977, Sergeant Olvey transferred to District 2. On May 11, 1980, he was honored with an Innovation Award at the Annual Police Memorial Week Award Banquet. During 1981, he was assigned to head up a group of undercover police officers placed in Cincinnati Public Schools. Sergeant Olvey was commended by the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association during 1983 in Cancun, Mexico. On May 19, 1985 he transferred to the Regional Enforcement of Narcotics Unit (RENU). A year later, he was promoted to Lieutenant, issued Badge L-4, and reassigned to District 2. In 1988 he took over the District 2 Investigative Unit. Lieutenant Olvey “retired” on February 1, 1992 with 65 letters of appreciation and/or commendation – including seven from Police Chief Myron J. Leistler, two from City Manager William Donaldson, and others from Safety Director Michael Bierman, Sheriff Lincoln Stokes, Assistant U. S. Attorney Ann Marie Tracey, Columbus Police Chief Earl Burden, and Mansfield Mayor Lawrence Harper.
Lieutenant Olvey was appointed Police Chief of the Golf Manor Police Department. Five years later, on June 1, 1997, he was hired by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office to command the multi-agency Regional Electronics Computer Intelligence unit which included detectives and agents from Cincinnati, Springfield Township, and the United States Secret Service. On November 15, 2001 he transferred to Range Master/Range Qualification Officer until March 2001. During 2003, he was appointed Police Chief of the Elmwood Place Police Department and “retired” again in 2005. He has since assisted other agencies, including Cleves, Arlington Heights, and Lockland with firearms qualifications, and held a commission with Lockland to date for at total of 57 years of service.
Pat began collecting police memorabilia in 1962. He became nationally recognized as a collector and by 1986 boasted a collection of 1500 badges. He won major awards including Best Display at a national show in Louisville and another at Madonna University in Detroit. He was a staff writer for Police Collectors News still in 2020. He also wrote and published “The Police and Historian’s Guide to Major City Police Badges. His website is viewed internationally as a reference.
They Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society formed in 1989 and he was on the Board of Directors by 1990. In 2002 he was elected Vice President and in 2004 elected President. He was a primary force in establishing the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum in 2006. A major portion of Museum’s displays were loaned to it by Chief Olvey. It has since grown to the largest law enforcement museum, by archive and artifact count, in the United States. Though retired from the Museum, Chief Olvey had what is probably the second largest police archive collection in the region and could always be counted on to answer an elusive historical inquiry.
During 2004, President George W. Bush signed in the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act (H.R. 218) permitting retired officers to carry firearms concealed nationwide as long as they qualify with them annually. Chief Olvey qualified as an instructor and has been qualifying hundreds of retired officers annually for sixteen years to present.
Chief Olvey bravely and almost secretly battled health issues for decades. He and his wife contracted COVID 19 and a few days later, on October 1, 2020, he died at home. He was 80 years old.
Chief Olvey is predeceased by his brother, Michael Olvey (2005). He is survived by his wife of almost 49 years, Judith L. (Teetor) Olvey, children, Cheryl (Mike) Carwile, Curtis (Maureen) Olvey, Clermont County Sheriff’s Deputy Meredith Walsh, and Craig (Erika) Olvey; grandchildren, Brett Carwile, Brian Smith, Billy Smith, Curtis “Ditto” Olvey, Alexandra Walsh, Caitlin Walsh, Caden Olvey, and Trent Olvey; and two great-grandchildren.
Services will be strictly for family. He will be interred at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum, 308 Reading Road, STE 201, Cincinnati, OH 45202; Hold the Line Services; or any charity of one’s choosing
© All rights reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society