Spotlight: Pikeville Police Chief Phillip Reed
AT A GLANCE...
Served the Pikeville Police Department since 2001 and as chief since 2012
Bachelor of Science in Police Administration from Eastern Kentucky University
HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE YOUR STAFF?
During my first meeting I implemented this statement by Ralph Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
I made this statement to challenge my officers to step out of their comfort zones and create a new way of policing. Sometimes motivation can be a very difficult task, especially when you are dealing with several personalities and habits.
However, I believe if you look for the good in someone instead of the bad and focus on ways to help them strengthen that good quality, the end result could be a more motivated person with better job performance. Leaders should have a positive attitude and be involved with their people, so they can see a true team effort.
I encouraged my staff to find what interests them the most and focus on making it better. There are training opportunities available beyond the required in-service. For example, some certifications that build officers’ self-worth and strengthen the department are D.A.R.E. instructor, Taser instructor, accident reconstructionist and K-9 officer.
HOW DO YOU BRING TRUST AND MUTUAL RESPECT BACK BETWEEN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE COMMUNITY THEY SERVE?
I believe there is still trust and respect between law enforcement and the community. However, it is being questioned and discussed more now than ever in a negative manner. When we allow negative events to speak for law enforcement across this nation, our trust and respect will suffer the consequences. If we sit back and expect the tradition of law enforcement to maintain a high standard of respect within our communities we will lose the battle.
What builds trust and respect with someone you meet for the first time is the same for what builds it between law enforcement and the community. It’s very important for us to give our very best and make sure we follow through with every complaint we receive. Because to the victim, no matter how small we view their issue, to them it’s huge.
Law enforcement today is not about responding to a call to arrest someone who may have abused drugs and committed a crime. It’s more about being in the classroom with our youth, talking to them about the dangers of substance abuse and its negative consequences. It’s about being a positive role model and actively involved in community events that allow the community to see us in a positive manner.
Being involved with the school system, assisting during sporting events, being involved with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and presenting safety programs to businesses are just a few of many programs that build and strengthen trust and respect within our community.
HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGED POLICING?
With anything good, there also will be a bad side of it. As technology advances we also need to advance to be able to stay involved with our community. If we leave the technology out and have the mindset of what worked in the past doesn’t need to change, then we will spend a lot of time playing catch up to the rest of society.
I believe technology is a key part in law enforcement advancement. Social media can have a positive role in law enforcement when used correctly. When an agency is involved in a positive event that may not be seen by the public, this is a very good way to make known the good side of law enforcement. Also, we have used social media to help identify suspects of crime, which allows the community to get involved with our agency at a different level.