Mark McCaslin recipient of Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award
Mark McCaslin, a highly decorated retired police captain, was recently honored by Cowley College by being named the recipient of the Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award. He will be presented with the Award at Cowley College’s Commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4 inside W.S. Scott Auditorium.
McCaslin graduated from Winfield High School in 1987. He began working at the Arkansas City Police Department in November 1992 as a reserve police officer. McCaslin then attended Cowley College’s criminal justice program and graduated from Cowley College in May 1996.
“Cowley’s criminal justice program was highly recommended by the local law enforcement community,” McCaslin said. “From the instructors to the administrative personnel everyone was great. Cowley helped prepare me by teaming with the local police departments with the student ride-a-longs and the student patrol working with the department to check the downtown businesses at night”.
While in the criminal justice program, McCaslin was hired as a full-time officer at the department in July 1993 and graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in May 1994 as the class president.
He furthered his education by earning a degree in Criminal Justice from Central Christian College of Kansas in 2013. McCaslin worked his way through the ranks and retired in 2019 holding the rank of Captain. During his career he was nominated and recognized with the following awards: Officer of the year in 1995 and 1997; Distinguished Service award in 1996, 2001, 2003, and 2004; Silver Award for Police Service in 1997; Supervisor of the Year in 2002; Bronze Award for Police Service in 1999; Life Saving Award in 1999; and Medal of Valor in 1997 and 2004. The final award presented to Captain McCaslin was the department’s Meritorious Service Award during his retirement ceremony.
A few years back McCaslin was diagnosed with Opsoclonus Myoclonus Ataxia Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder of unknown cause which appears to be the result of an autoimmune process involving the nervous system. It is an extremely rare condition, affecting as few as 1 in 10,000,000 people per year.
“To this day I have minimal symptoms which do not bother my daily routine, but overall I am very blessed to have overcome it,” McCaslin said. “I had to learn to walk again because of the condition and was told at one time I would not walk again unassisted. I would not have been able to do that without the support of my family, my co-workers, friends, this community and the good Lord.”
Throughout his career, Captain McCaslin demonstrated commitment to the public, the department, the City, and held himself to the highest of standards. His dedication, professionalism and years of faithful service are a benchmark for others to strive to achieve.
Along with the numerous awards he received in his career in law enforcement, McCaslin was overcome with emotion when learning he was named the recipient of the Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award.
“I never knew how my actions have impacted others during my career until I was sick in 2016 and the support from not only community, but my peers, and those I had contact with throughout my career changed my entire outlook on life and the people of this community. I am deeply honored to receive this award,” McCaslin said. “Cowley College is a great school sitting in a great community, I am grateful to have been a part of the school and I have always recommended the college to prospective students for not only the CJ program, but others like the tech school, NDT, and milling operator’s classes.”