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New Shawnee police chief plans to use more technology

SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Robert Kohli always wanted to be a police officer.

From visiting schools in the Shawnee area to TV shows featuring law enforcement, Kohli said he was always “guided” to serve his community. So he became a Patrol in his 2002 and has been in law enforcement since his promotion to Sergeant in 2012. On Tuesday, he took over as chief.

Kohli was initially unsure if he would take the chief position following Michael Keith’s retirement, but after thinking about it for a while, he decided he needed to do it.

“I have seen the quality of the[department’s]workforce and the standards of service expected not only from our community, but also from other members of the department,” Kohli said. “There is the possibility that someone else will step in, perhaps from the outside, and the opportunity to change what we are accustomed to and what I, as a township resident, expect as a level of service. When the

But Kohli said not all will remain the same under his leadership.

Kohli has already begun the process of getting the technology into police vehicles, and he and others within the department are seeing the benefits of an electronic citation system rather than a pen-to-paper one.

“[It will] It allows us to have safer interactions at road stops and allows us to pay attention to threats and hazards that we might miss if we were on paper,” Kohli said.

Councilor Clark Spieles, who voted for Kohli’s nomination, said this affinity for technology is what sets him apart from other candidates. Kohli said he is always looking for ways to use technology to improve the department’s policies.

Spieles also said he likes Kohli’s community outreach and commitment to supporting policing efforts in other communities.

Cori is a coordinator for the Ohio Department of Public Safety and has traveled the country teaching prosecutors, judges, and police about the pharmacology and physiology of drugs, and specifically assisting officers in assessing those under the influence of drugs. Cori said he traveled primarily to Ohio for these sessions and used his vacation time to conduct the sessions.

Although he will spend less time teaching as chief, Kohli said he plans to maintain his role as coordinator and direct resources where they are needed.

“I have obviously been very passionate about OVI enforcement throughout my career and it has saved lives,” said Kohli. “The longer you do this work, the more you see what crime does to families and people. No. I don’t mean it.”

Kohli said he has an “open door policy” to anyone in the community who wants to talk about his concerns or what changes he’d like the department to make.

It’s this kind of policy that makes Kohli a “true community person,” Spieres adds, “He’s like a diamond in our department.”

Contact Jessica Orozco at 564-242-0398 or on Twitter @JessicaCOrozco.