Columbus’ new top crime-fighter has been dreaming about being chief for more than 15 years.
When Kim Jacobs was appointed chief earlier this year, she took the role as the first woman to lead the police department.
Years ago, at the police academy, she never thought she would occupy the seat she does today.
“There was a large group of women in my academy class,” Jacobs said. “We sat around on our breaks and talked – ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to be the first female sergeant?’”
Those conversations were held about 30 years ago – before Jacobs began her ascent through the ranks.
Her ascent to the top has been a personal journey, too.
Jacobs was married for 20 years and has two sons. For the past seven years, she has had a life partner.
While raising her boys, she worked everything from patrol to communications to the training bureau.
“I really got a sense of hiring, firing, promoting,” Jacobs said.
It was during her first years as a commander that Jacobs began to seriously consider being chief.
“I’ve written down ideas for years,” Jacobs said. “I have a list – ‘If I were chief, this is what I would do.’ I’ve been saving that list for 15 years.”
Jacobs now is putting her stamp on the position. She said that her job is to figure out how to best serve the public with nearly 1,900 officers.
The question of “contracting out” could be one of the biggest issues facing Jacobs’ tenure.
“(The challenge is) managing the costs of policing, whether that means getting civilians to do some jobs and freeing up officers’ time to be out on the streets fighting crimes,” Jacobs said.
She said that she wants the Columbus police force to know that she works for them – not the other way around.
“I need to hear what they need from me,” Jacobs said. “It should always be about making it better for the people who follow in your footsteps,” Jacobs said.
“Being passionate is the way you get things done,” Jacobs said. “I made it part of our mission statement.”
Jacobs also said that she wants to make it a priority to have a good relationship with the community.
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