TROY — The city of Troy has a new police chief for the first time in more than two decades.
On Thursday, Chief Shawn McKinney was pinned by his wife Krista in front of family, friends and fellow officers from the community at City Hall.
Chief McKinney thanked his family and officers, both active and retired, who came to the pinning ceremony for their support.
“Without the support of the men and women of the Troy Police Department I would not be where I am today,” McKinney said. “It’s an awesome responsibility to be named chief of police. I hope I can live up to the expectations. I think we are already a great department and I think we can make it better.”
McKinney was preceded by former Chief Charles Phelps who retired on Aug. 7 following 38 years of service — all with the city of Troy. Chief Phelps was named chief on May 19, 1998.
Chief McKinney currently has 25 years of service with the Troy Police Department. He began his career when he was hired on May 15, 1995, promoted to the rank of sergeant on June 21, 2004, and promoted to the rank of captain on Sept. 8, 2015.
McKinney shared that it was his desire to help people that led him to pursue a career in law enforcement. As an Ohio State University college student, McKinney said he enjoyed the criminology, sociology, and criminal justice classes.
“I believed I could make a difference. Every day is different, and no two calls are the same,” he said. ‘There are also so many aspects of police work to specialize in, for example traffic enforcement, evidence collection, or detective work.”
McKinney shared a story that reaffirmed his career choice to helping others through law enforcement. He shared how he was once off duty at the grocery store with his young daughter when a man whom he had arrested and jailed for OVI approached him.
“I initially thought he was going to be upset and cause a scene, but he actually thanked me, stating that arrest was his catalyst to get sober and had been sober ever since,” he said.
Chief McKinney is a graduate of Tecumseh High School. He served six years in the U. S. Coast Guard Reserve. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University and graduated from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) in London, Ohio in 1995. He also is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. In 2019, he attended the FBI Academy at Quantico.
Chief McKinney said the emphasis of the FBI Academy — considered one of the most elite police leadership programs in the U.S. — was to develop a community of leaders in law enforcement that can be reached out to for guidance.
“We still have an active class message board where I can reach out for policy examples, training ideas, or advice on specific situations,” he said.
At the FBI Academy, McKinney attended leadership courses, physical fitness training and presentations on a variety of topics. McKinney said that some of those topics included presentations from leaders directly involved in high profile cases from across the country like the Sandy Hook shooting and the arrest of El Chapo. McKinney said he participated in elective courses for managing violent crime investigations, an officer wellness course, and a media/social media course.
McKinney said the challenges of being an officer is managing the stress of the job — both in Troy and around the country.
“It’s a stressful job, it’s getting more stressful, and dealing with that stress is a challenge,” he said.
As chief, McKinney shared his goals includes keeping the department’s accreditation with CALEA which will update the department policies and procedures. McKinney also will seek to strengthen the department’s community relationships with both new and current community programs.
When he’s not wearing the badge, McKinney enjoys attending his three children’s activities, visiting family, golfing and running, as well as traveling and gardening.
Chief McKinney resides in Troy with his wife Krista, with whom he will celebrate 25 years of marriage at the end of the year, and their three children.