COLUMBUS, Ohio — The first female police chief of Columbus took the stage in her final recruit graduation on Friday. Kim Jacobs said she remembers her graduation.
“As I look at the faces of these new officers it’s actually very easy to recall 39 years ago when I was sitting in their seat having graduated from the academy. I have seen times change, policing change, and people change and one thing remains the same. The Columbus Division of Police will continue to grow, adapt, and thrive in an ever-changing world filled with uncertainties and unknown dangers.”
For the first time, CPD will search nationwide for the chief’s job when Jacobs retires in February. At the end of her speech to recruits Jacobs said, “Mayor, as you look for and choose the next leader of this outstanding organization, I would ask you to make sure it is someone who they deserve.”
“We have got issues to deal with. We have got change to accomplish. Continue motivating and leading people that are facing an awful lot of stress and situations they don’t always know how to handle,” said Jacobs.
“Practically every agency large agency is doing a national search.
It gives the sense that they we are going to look for the best person and I understand that totally. It’s considered a best practice.
I do believe we have a number of people here in the pipeline as well that have the talent, the ability, the desire to lead our organization I am hoping they will look very hard at our own internal candidates,” Jacobs said.
“I think it is going to be a process of trying to get to know that person and how they want to lead, not why they want to be chief. Chief is just a title, but do they want to lead?”
“I think there needs to be a good background check. For whoever that might be. Baltimore hired somebody and found out he hadn’t paid his taxes a long time,” said Jacobs.
“As you look across the country, more and more chiefs decisions are more and more just what they are saying publicly is being scrutinized by more people because it is available to them through social media.
Some cities have definitely made it very political. There is a change in Chief every mayor that comes along, and I want my chief to do this,” said Jacobs.
“Mayors have an influence. But mayors can’t lead if they don’t have control of everything in the city. They have a right to say I want these things done and the chiefs have a boss,” she said.
“The mayor has the right to expect the chief to do some things. You just hope that it is all in the best interests of everyone and it’s not based on a political decision.”
“I love the people of the division of police, I care very deeply about them because I believe that when they have that feeling they will go out and do their best work for the people they work in the community.”