Deputy Chief Kevin Norris named Police Chief of Ardmore Police Department
Deputy Chief Kevin Norris has been appointed Chief of Police beginning April 17.
Norris has worked in the Ardmore Police Department for 24 years. His first law enforcement job was as a reserve officer. Norris went through the reserve academy and was hired by the city of the Marietta as a reserve officer.
Norris wanted to work in law enforcement full-time and was able to get a reserve officer position at the Ardmore Police Department. Six months later, full-time positions opened up, and Norris was able to move to full-time.
“There’s obviously, in my opinion, a calling, to be a police officer, to serve the community, and to be a guardian of the community,” Norris said. “Over the years, I’ve never really looked at this as a job, and the 24 years have gone by fast because I love what I do.”
After starting out as a patrol officer, Norris became a narcotics investigator for the Ardmore Police Department. Then he was assigned to the District 20 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. His supervisory position in law enforcement started in around 2008 when he was promoted to sergeant.
Around 2011, Norris was promoted to captain and initially served as patrol shift captain before taking over criminal investigations and day shift captain. He was promoted to his current position of Deputy Chief in early 2015.
“Your great leaders in life and in history have always been servants to the community and the people they lead,” Norris said. “Anybody can have the title of supervisor, but to be a leader is totally different. I believe in order for the community to excel and for our officers, dispatchers, record clerks, property clerks, animal control and all of our administrative staff to succeed, I need to try and give them what they need.”
In the last seven years, the department has remodeled its dispatch, gotten newer vehicles and are in the process of updating the entire department’s communication system, and as Chief, Norris plans to implement the six pillars under President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing to continue building on the firm foundation established under Chief Grace. The six pillars in the task force focus on building trust and legitimacy, policy and oversight, technology and social media, community policing and crime reduction, training and education and officer wellness.
Norris wants to establish a community influenced policing plan. He plans to take a survey of the community on what they expect from the Ardmore Police Department. After establishing a policing plan, he will present it to the City Commission, so that they can have a public resolution of the plan drafted. Norris’ hope is that the policing plan will allow the public to be aware of what the department is working towards.
“We are constantly doing training bulletins every month to keep our officers apprised of our policies,” Norris said. ”A lot of people in the community don’t know that. I think with the foundation we have already built and then build on these six pillars, we can establish a relationship with the community. We have some other projects that I am trying to figure how exactly we’re going to implement, but in the future, I think the community will see a difference.”