by REBECCA KIELBASA
“My job is 24/7- 365. Period,” says the Norwalk chief of police when he shared what it takes to be a police officer and personal experiences with the Tiffin University Criminal Justice Club.
Chief Mike Conney has worked for the Norwalk Police Department for 30 years, after serving four years in the United States Marines.
Chief Conney shared his experiences and life lessons with students to help them gain knowledge about police work.
Throughout the presentation Conney provided us several pieces of wisdom:
Chief Conney shared that police officers are meant to be servants and that sometimes the work they do does not bring them joy, such as having to give both his own mother and sisters citations while on duty. Police work can be incredibly rewarding, but also it is difficult emotionally, he said.
Being a public servant takes a big heart and willingness to make hard decisions. Conney has had to leave his own child’s birthday parties and christmas celebrations for police emergencies.
Chief Conney outlined how changing technology has affected police work, making it more interesting and slightly dramatic out in the field. For example, a teenager came into the station to report that someone stole his virtual golden coins online by hacking and wanted the hacker arrested.
Police procedures and misconceptions were discussed, where Conney explained that officers are never trained, and he has never trained anyone, to shoot to kill. Chief Conney has never killed anyone in his 30 years.
There are fewer vehicle pursuits now than ever before because they are so dangerous, but there are more OVI and DUI charges according to Conney.
When discussing speeding citations, Conney explains that it is best to simply be honest with the police officers about why you were speeding, and it is completely up to the officers discretion to write a ticket.
Chief Mike Conney’s career started off with a rejection from the State Highway Patrol due to being color blind, so Conney went to the Norwalk Police Department. He first completed two years as an auxiliary officer, then held multiple positions in the force, including an emergency officer, civil service officer, dispatcher, patrol officer, detective, sergeant, captain, and up to the chief of police.
Chief Conney encourages any criminal justice students who are interested in doing a ride along to reach out to the Norwalk police Department at 419.668.3311.