By Jon Wysochanski
The results are in. Lt. Mike Kilbane will be the new captain of the North Olmsted Police Department.
Kilbane placed at the top of the captain’s test given June 29. The results of the test were certified at a special meeting of the North Olmsted Civil Service Commission on July 6.
Chief Jamie Gallagher said three candidates took the June 29 police captain’s test, and all were highly qualified.
Kilbane, who has been with the North Olmsted Police Department for 17 years, is also an adjunct professor at Cuyahoga Community College, where he teaches criminal justice courses. Gallagher said this gives him an extensive background in training.
“All three candidates performed very well in this promotional exam; it was a competitive test,” he said. “Lt. Kilbane will make an excellent captain. He brings with him good management skills and a background in training.”
Mayor Kevin Kennedy lauded Kilbane.
“Mike is a very smart man, and I’m excited he’s earned the captain’s position,” Kennedy said. “I look forward to him doing a great job and working closely with him.”
Police captains are more involved with administrative work than lieutenants, Gallagher said, and they oversee the day-to-day patrol operations.
Kilbane said he is very grateful for the appointment.
He acknowledged that his new role as a captain will be more involved in multiple areas of the department than his old role as a lieutenant.
Gallagher said he has always respected Kilbane as a police officer.
“He worked for me as a patrol officer when I was a lieutenant,” he recalled. “He was really sharp and just a really good police officer.”
Being appointed to captain is a great opportunity to work closely with his old mentor, Kilbane said.
“He’s got some fantastic ideas for the direction he wants to move the department in,” Kilbane said of Gallagher. “I’m thrilled to be able to be part of that.”
Kilbane said police work is more than just a job for him. One of the reasons he went to graduate school and earned his master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati was for the opportunity to make significant changes in the organization.
“I’m a firm believer that you have to develop your own replacements,” he said of police departments. “It’s incumbent upon us as leaders to prepare the lieutenants, sergeants and patrol officers that work with us to move up to the next level.”
Before coming to North Olmsted in 1994, Kilbane was a patrol officer in South Euclid. He said he has seen many changes in the field of criminal justice since his time as a rookie.
“The biggest change is technology, which has had a monstrous impact (on police work), both positive and negative,” he said.
Criminals are using technology and departments are investigating a lot more high-tech crimes, Kilbane said. Identity theft, cybercrimes and cyberstalking are all new areas that police need to be trained in, he added.
“We have to adapt to be able to investigate and address those kinds of crimes,” Kilbane said.
When he first started, Kilbane recalled his patrol car as only having a radio and a radar.
“Now we have cellular communications, mobile data terminals in all the cars and digital video that records the officer’s activities,” he said. “They’ve really streamlined our ability to work effectively.”
“I’m very fortunate because the leadership structure we currently have has a tremendous amount of experience,” he said. “The four lieutenants that will be in place after I get promoted have a combined 100 years of experience. They’ve really got a solid foundation.”