5 Questions With Mentor Police Department's Soon-To-Be Chief
Capt. Kevin Knight talks about upcoming challenges and goals for the police department, as well as the biggest responsibility a police chief faces
Mentor Police Capt. Kevin Knight will succeed Police Chief Daniel Llewellyn when Llewellyn retires in January.
Knight sat down with me for a brief Q & A in the wake of his upcoming promotion.
What's the most important lesson you learned from Chief Llewellyn?
Knight: "Delegation. You need to efficiently delegate to keep things moving or a person in this position will get so bogged down that they can't accomplish anything.
("Retired Mentor Police Capt. Jeffrey) Reese told me 'this is an overwhelming position. When stuff lands on your desk, if you can move it, move it.'
"Chief Llewellyn is an excellent delegator, which allowed him to get a lot done."
How do you expect technology to affect the Mentor Police Department in the next few years?
"Communication is such a big part of this job and social media is just another form of community policing. Our Facebook page is a great example of that. It allows us to interact with people."
"My biggest concern with technology is that it's incumbent on us to stay up on new technology -- as opposed to catching up -- because the bad guys are up on whatever's new."
Opiate abuse has been a problem in the region and Mentor hasn't been exempt. What are Mentor Police doing to curtail the problem?
"Heroin is extremely popular right now. I've never seen it this popular before. So much criminal activity goes back to drugs. The last large burglary ring we had in Mentor was all heroin addicts.
"We're being extremely aggressive with our detective bureau's narcotics division and we're adding an officer to bolster narcotics enforcement. We also have officers on our interstates providing drug enforcement on the city's corridors.
"Education is also a big part of stopping heroin. We can't do it all on our own."
What is the a police chief's most difficult responsibility?
"You think 'not on my watch.' You want to make sure every man and woman goes home safely at the end of their shift.
"I'd like to finish my career without having to knock on anyone's parent's or spouse's door (to give them that bad news.")
Anything else you would like to add?
"I really want to push the customer service aspect of the job. I want the officers to get out of their cars more."
"For me, I live in Mentor. I work here. I raise my family here so I'm a stakeholder in this community. This isn't a 9-to-5 job. It's an all-in commitment."