Safety & Security

The Holden Arboretum formed its first police department in 1974, but it wasn’t until 1999 that it was fully commissioned under the laws of the state of Ohio. The role of the department is to provide services that ensure the proper stewardship of our unique natural areas and collections, which are located in two counties and five jurisdictions. The police department also oversees the safety of Holden employees, volunteers, guests and the general public.


The Holden Arboretum Police Department (HAPD) is led by a full-time chief of police, who is supported by one full-time and four part-time officers. With full law enforcement authority granted by state law under Ohio Revised Code 1702.80, the Department follows policies and procedures mutually agreed upon with the surrounding jurisdictions.

General Services

  1. Perform road, foot and bicycle patrols
  2. General law enforcement, which includes enforcement of Ohio traffic and criminal codes
  3. Investigations
  4. Non-criminal incidents involving wildlife, vehicles, missing persons and disturbance complaints
  5. Assistance with way-finding, disabled vehicles, traffic control and keys locked in cars
  6. Special building and neighboring property checks
  7. Wildlife management

Health and Safety

Officers play an integral role in Holden's safety program by reporting and correcting hazards, providing emergency services and first aid, conducting fire drills and minding the general physical safety of everyone on Holden property, for any reason.


Drone Use at The Holden Arboretum

In an effort to maintain an environment where visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of the natural world without the intrusion of technology, the use of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited anywhere above the grounds of The Holden Arboretum. Under special circumstances, permission may be granted for scientific or artistic purposes. Inquiries should be directed to Dave Frank, Chief of Police at least 14 days in advance.


The use of drones by Holden staff for research, monitoring of forest health, or as a tool for project management may occur on occasion and will be done making every effort to minimize the impact on the guest experience. Any unauthorized use of drones within or above The Holden Arboretum property will result in the operator being asked to leave the grounds.


Requesting Special Permission for Use of Drones for Scientific or Artistic Purposes


The operation of a drone or UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) over the grounds of The Holden Arboretum is prohibited without prior written consent from the Arboretum Chief of Police.

In order to obtain approval, the operator must submit a written or email request to Dave Frank, Chief of Police at least 14 days prior to the desired date of operation.


The operator must include the following information:

  • Name, address, and phone number of the operator
  • Desired date, time and location of the flight
  • Purpose of the operation (must be for scientific or artistic purpose)
  • Equipment to be used including FAA registration number

The proposed operation must not pose an unacceptable threat to the safety and enjoyment of our visitors or the environment. Approval, once given, may be rescinded if it is determined that the information provided is incorrect or incomplete or if circumstances have changed and a determination is made that the planned operation is not in Holden’s best interest. Holden also reserves the right to immediately order the cessation of any operation that is deemed to create a hazard or interference with any Arboretum activity.

Wildlife Management

With more than 3,600 acres of land and the diversity of wildlife, it is important that Holden strikes a balance between people, wildlife and plants. The goal of the wildlife management program is to provide for the maximum bio-diversity of plants and animals.


Besides white-tailed deer and Canada geese, gray and black squirrels, a wide variety of bats and other winged animals, raccoons, opossum, groundhogs, muskrat, skunk, fox and coyote are common on Holden property. Reports of a black bear are rare, but not out of the question, because they sometimes wander in from eastern Ohio counties and Pennsylvania.


The HAPD collaborates with our own wildlife biologist to assist with nuisance problems and the well-planned control of certain species. Working in cooperation with the our Horticulture and Conservation Department, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, we have many ongoing wildlife programs, including the restocking of native Ohio brook trout.


Department staff

David Frank, Police Chief
Cory Freadling, Police Officer

Kevin Goodman, Police Officer

Jeff Miloro, Police Officer

Tony Piotrowski, Police Officer

Brian Schoch, Police Officer




Enjoy your visit, walk and hike with caution and let our Holden Police Department know if you see anything unusual or unsafe.