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Columbus Police Chief Helps Chase Down Suspect


UPDATED: Friday September 13, 2013 8:38 AM

She commands more than 1,800 officers as the Capital City's Chief of Police.

But Chief Kimberley Jacobs became just another cop on the beat recently, when she got involved in a foot chase.

It's been 33 years since Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs took the oath to serve and protect, 20 years since she was on the street as a patrol officer.

"There were a lot of things I loved about being out on the street and being on patrol,” said Jacobs.  “There were some things that I thought I needed to have a bigger voice in, and that's really my reason for seeking promotion."

The higher she rose through the ranks, the further she got from the streets.

"Mostly been riding a desk or doing administrative things for the last 20 years," Jacobs laughed.

When she can, she likes to leave behind the desk and the 8th floor office and get reacquainted with her roots.

"They still get to do that kind of work that I miss," she said, referring to her officers on the street.

It was two Fridays ago that Jacobs spent an evening riding with CPD's "Campus Walkie Crew".

"There's 12 Columbus officers, a Sergeant, and an OSU officer assigned to this unit,” said Sergeant Pat Shaffer.  “We patrol primarily on bicycle. Our main focus is the campus area.”

Shaffer said being shadowed by the Chief was exciting and a little nerve-racking.

"It was great to see her out here, not just out here saying 'Hi'; out here riding, doing the job like everybody else,” he said.

"They're apologizing to me that there's not too much to do,” remembered Jacobs. “30 seconds later we turn down an alley. One of the officers sees this group of 6 to 7 people walking up through the alley, and they hear a beer can hit the ground."

Shaffer and Jacobs said the group was clearly underage, some of them with open containers of alcohol- not a federal offense, but still against the law. The officers paired off to talk to the group, when one of the young men decided to run. Sergeant Shaffer took off after him.

"I looked at the other officers and I'm thinking to myself, ‘Well they're all tied up. I'm his backup. I gotta go!” said Chief Jacobs.

"Police officers, we always back each other up,” said Shaffer. “Even the Chief was out there. Even though it's probably been a long time since she's been in a foot-chase or been on runs with officers, that instinct kicks right in and she was right there."

Jacobs says it was just like, well, riding a bike.

"My experience and my training kicked in. doesn't matter how long ago I used it, yeah it kicked in."

With the help of a nearby cruiser, the fleeing suspect was caught and arrested a few blocks away.

Chief Jacobs said she looks forward to hitting the streets again when her administrative duties permit.

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