Lawrence Police Chief Tarik Khatib on Monday made the first major promotions of his three-month tenure as he elevated two captains and two sergeants to patrol shift posts.
Khatib Monday morning presented credentials to two new captains, Jim Martin and Bill Cory, and two sergeants, Trent McKinley and Robert Murry, in front of dozens of officers, department employees and others.
“We talk a lot about leadership, and these are all people who have led by experience,” Khatib said. “They’re hard workers. They’re involved in the community. We have expectations that that continues.”
Martin, who most recently served as an investigations sergeant supervising detectives, will lead the department’s evening patrol shift that runs from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., and McKinley, who has worked as a neighborhood resources officers since 2007, will be one of Martin’s three supervisors.
“There needs to be a really good base for leadership because patrol is the heart beat of the police department,” Martin said.
McKinley said he hoped to be able to continue to foster connections he made with neighborhood associations and other groups to help work on neighborhood issues in his new position. Among the new chief’s major goals is community involvement.
“It will be figuring out how to better mesh those types of goals with the functions of a patrol shift,” he said.
Cory will move from his assignment as sergeant in charge of the department’s training unit to leading the night patrol shift from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. with Murry, an 11-year officer, becoming one of his supervisors.
“I’ve got an open mind to a lot of different things — officers’ ideas and sergeants’ ideas — and I plan to openly accept feedback,” Cory said.
Murry said the overnight shift includes challenges because officers deal with lots of calls at certain times, such as bar closing times.
The two new captains replace Khatib, who was promoted from captain in February to permanently replace longtime chief Ron Olin who retired from the department, and Capt. Ray Urbanek who plans to retire in June, Khatib said.
Capt. Dan Ward who has been working as a patrol captain will eventually replace Urbanek in the information technology division. Khatib said Lawrence City Manager David Corliss has allowed the department to overlap the promotions before Urbanek’s retirement to create a smoother transition for the new captains.