Police Chief Douglas Eugene Culp (1945-2023)


 Douglas Culp was born in Cincinnati on July 8, 1945, the son of Joseph and Lula Vernon (Kelly) Culp.  He attended Maysville High School, graduating in 1963.  He then spent a year at Eastern Kentucky University, where he majored in Political Science and served in the United States Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in the Counter Guerrilla Platoon.  He would later graduate from The University of Cincinnati.  

On July 29, 1964, he joined the United States Army serving in the 164th Military Police Company in Miesau, Germany and in Company C of the 793rd Military Police Battalion in Nuremberg and Kissingen, Germany during The Cold War. Sergeant (E-5) Culp was honorably discharged in July 1970.

Doug joined the Lexington Kentucky Police Department on August 16, 1967.  In February 1970, Patrolman Culp joined the Maysville Police Department and served in patrol, traffic, community relations, and investigative capacities.  He moved to Cincinnati and on March 11, 1973, accepted a position as Guard at the Cincinnati Workhouse. 

On July 1,1973, Patrolman Culp joined the Cincinnati Police Division as a recruit in Cincinnati’s 59th Recruit Class.  He was promoted to Patrolman on November 25, 1973, issued Badge 148, and assigned to District 1 (310 Lincoln Park Drive) where he made friends that would last a lifetime. Police Officer Culp was rotated to District 3 (3201 Warsaw Avenue) on January 5, 1975.  On August 5, 1977, he was injured in the line of duty, suffering a cut down his chest and a severely slashed hand while stopping a knife wielding burglar. He successfully made the arrest without using his sidearm.  His fingers had to be surgically repaired following the incident. For such an act, he was awarded the annual “Blue Coat Award” by the Mother of Mercy Knights of Columbus on March 16, 1978.  During his Cincinnati career, six Cincinnati police officers had been murdered. Officer Culp resigned on January 14, 1979, after almost six years of service to Cincinnati and with nine letters of appreciation and/or commendation. 

 The next day, he was appointed Maysville Police Chief. Nine months later, on October16, 1979, 22-year-old Maysville Police Officer Daniel L. Hay was shot and killed while investigating a report of a burglary. He was the first and only Maysville officer killed in the line of duty. Within ten days, the murderer was identified, arrested, and later convicted. On January 18, 1985, Kentucky Governor Martha Lane Collins named Chief Culp to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council. Probably his last major event was the star-studded marriage in Maysville of Rosemary Clooney, which brought numerous celebrities to town. Chief Culp retired in 1999 with 35 years of service to his country and a few communities. 

Late in 2021, Chief Culp was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. He returned to Cincinnati for chemotherapy in February 2022, followed by surgery. The treatments were not successful and by mid-2023 he was fighting the cancer to a standstill. His incredible strength and faith in God never wavered through all of his suffering. Chief Culp died on August 15, 2023, at the age of 78.

He was predeceased by his son, James Carl Culp (November 2021), and son-in-law, James Griffin (May 2014). Chief Culp is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Ann (Schmidt) Culp, and children, Karen Griffin, Doug (Yvette) Culp, Jr., Greg (Heather) Culp, Stephen Culp, Julie (Tony) McFarland, Lora (Eric) Goodwin, and Jessica (Arnie) Monell; 19 grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and sister, Jane Patton.

McFarland, Lora (Eric) Goodwin, and Jessica Annette (Arnie) Monell; 19 grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and sister, Jane Patton.

Visitation was held on Monday, August 21, 2023, at Brell and Son Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, followed by burial at St. Patrick’s Cemetery. 

Donations can be made to the Cancer Fighters United, 4209 US Highway 62, Maysville, KY 41056, or the St. Patrick Church Piano & Organ Maintenance Fund.


© 2023 – All rights are reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum



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