COLUMBUS — A Newcomerstown native has raised the bar for women in the Ohio State Highway Patrol, as Major Marla K. Gaskill has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel by Ohio State Highway Patrol Colonel Richard S. Fambro during a ceremony at the Patrol’s Training Academy.

Lieutenant Colonel Gaskill is the first woman to hold this position in Patrol history.

Lieutenant Colonel Gaskill will transfer from her current assignment in the Office of Planning and Finance to serve as a lieutenant colonel in the Office of the Superintendent. 

Lieutenant Colonel Gaskill began her Patrol career in May 1989 as a cadet dispatcher assigned to the New Philadelphia Post. She began her training as a member of the 119th Academy Class in January 1990. She earned her commission in June of that year and was assigned to the Wooster Post. As a trooper, she also served as a pilot in the Aviation Unit, becoming the first female pilot for the Patrol. In 1997, she was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to the Norwalk Post to serve as an assistant post commander. As a sergeant, she also served at the Delaware Post and in the Administrative Investigations Unit. In 2001, she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and transferred to the Marysville Post to serve as post commander. In 2006, she was promoted to the rank of staff lieutenant and transferred to the Office of Human Resources. As a staff lieutenant, she also served in the Office of Personnel, Office of Field Operations and Capital Operations. In 2011, she was promoted to the rank of captain and transferred to the Fiscal Services Section. In 2016, she was promoted to major and transferred to the Office of Planning and Finance, becoming the commander for the Office of Planning and Finance for the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Lieutenant Colonel Gaskill is a graduate of The University of Louisville, Southern Police Institute and attended the U.S. Army War College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Capital University in 2001. In 2005, she completed a leadership executive training course at the Southern Police Institute. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree in applied leadership from Franklin University in 2008 and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Ohio University.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is an internationally accredited agency whose mission is to protect life and property, promote traffic safety and provide professional public safety services with respect, compassion, and unbiased professionalism.