Results of Special Meeting of Woodlawn Park City Council on September 26, 2018

Started by ellen on Thursday, September 27 2018, 08:30 am ·

A special meeting of the Woodlawn Park City Council was held on September 26, 2018, for the sole purpose of appointing Michael Koenig as Woodlawn Park police chief. Several days prior to the meeting, the mayor sent out a "bio summary" on Mr. Koenig. I sent an email request to the mayor, with copies to all Council members, asking for a copy of Mr. Koenig's full resume. After another Councilperson made an email request, Council members were provided with Mr. Koenig's resume by email. Therefore, Council members did have access to information regarding Mr. Koenig and were able to do at least some due diligence prior to the special meeting.

The mayor stated at the special meeting that 12 people had inquired about the police chief position. Four people did not complete the application process; eight started the process; and two took other jobs. Four people were interviewed for the position. After the interviews, the candidates were narrowed down to 3, then 2, and then Mr. Koenig was chosen. The Woodlawn Park Code Enforcement Board assisted the mayor during this process.

After the mayor introduced Mr. Koenig, he was given a chance to speak to the Council and citizens who attended the meeting (therefore, since this information was presented in public, I am not violating Kentucky Open Records or Kentucky Open Meetings laws by disseminating this information, which is also available on a public website [LinkedIn]).

Mr. Koenig stated that he has been a police officer since he was 21 years old. He first served with the Jefferson County Police Department (now LMPD) for 7 years. He was with the Jeffersontown Police Department for 13 years. He retired as a sergeant from the Jtown Police Department in 2017. For the first six months of 2018, he was working for the Attorney General's Office as a Medicare/Medicaid fraud investigator. When asked by this Councilperson why he only held that job for six months, he explained that the job was just not a good fit for him, as the job duties did not correspond with how they were explained to him during the hiring process. He stated that the job required a lot of travel, and he was not prepared for that aspect. He is currently working part-time as a campus police officer at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mr. Koenig stated at the meeting that he has been married for 14 years. His wife is a police officer, assigned to the LMPD homicide unit as a victim advocate. They have six children, with one on the way. They live in Northfield. Mr. Koenig stated that one of the reasons he chose to live in Northfield is that it is a community with a small police department. He believes that Northfield is much like Woodlawn Park, in fact, stating it is "just like this." He believes that the primary duties of police officers in small cities such as Northfield and Woodlawn Park are to maintain speed control, maintain rules and regulations, and maintain property values.

Mr. Koenig stated that he has 118 hours towards a degree in criminal justice, although he has not finished his degree. When asked by this Councilperson the reason for this, he stated that he had concentrated on his family, his work, and his law enforcement training. He stated he has over 400 hours of leadership training, and 800 hours of advanced investigative training. When I asked him what his leadership training will bring to the one-person WP police force, he stated that one person cannot do it all, but that we all need to work together as a community. He stated that he wants the community to work together collectively to bring down barriers, and to enhance transparency and communication. He stated that he hopes to initiate "coffee with a cop," or some other type of community round-table discussion forum, where citizens can voice their concerns, complaints, and problems, and where we can find common ground.

When asked by this councilperson what technological advancements he would bring to the WP police department, he stated that he has been trained in the Kentucky OPS program. Implementing this system would allow him to take reports on a computer, and those reports would be transmitted to the Kentucky State Police database. This allows the tracking of crime trends, modus operandi, etc. LMPD has its own system, so if a report is made to LMPD, it may not be transmitted to the state police, and an officer outside LMPD may not have access to the information. He believes that this system would allow him to more effectively fight crime in WP. Further, he stated that he would be wearing a body camera for all live enforcement encounters, as this would increase transparency. He stated that he had seen, sitting in a box in City Hall, the speed monitoring device which has been mentioned in past City Council meetings, on this website, and on WP's website. He stated that he would implement the use of that device in order to record speed on certain streets to assist with enforcement of speed limit laws.

He further stated that his "advanced investigative skills" would allow him to investigate crimes in WP. For example, if a home is burglarized, he would handle the report and investigate the crime.

When asked by this Councilperson if he would vary his hours to include nights and weekends, he stated that he would do so.

Mr. Koenig stated that he was well-rounded and up to the task of being the police chief of WP. He stated that his philosophy was one of community-based policing. He stated that he has helped to establish the Office of Community Relations at LMPD, that he was a co-author of the manual for that organization, and that he co-created and led the LMPD Citizens' Academy.

Based on Mr. Koenig's responses to my questions (and I was the only Councilperson who asked any questions), his demeanor, and his emphasis on community-based policing, I believed that it was in the best interest of WP to vote for him to be appointed as the WP police chief.

The City Council unanimously approved his appointment.

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