Click here for COVID-19 updates affecting the campus community

Police chief candidate Kyra Hope stresses community engagement at candidate forum

Hope has worked for the Detroit Police Department for three decades

Police Chief Candidate Kyra Hope speaks to staff and community members in the Charles V. Park Library Baber Room on Friday, May 10.

Kyra Hope, the third of four finalists for Central Michigan University's next Chief of Police spoke about community engagement and showing respect at a forum on May 10.

The search for CMU's next police chief began in February after Chief Bill Yeagley announced his retirement. His last day will be July 31.

Hope has held several leadership positions in the Detroit Police Department. She currently serves as police captain of the Chief's Neighborhood Liaison. From March 2014 to February 2019, Hope served as captain of the seventh district in Detroit.

Her main focus as a leader is to connect with members of the community. She said she knocked on doors every day to introduce herself, have conversations and gain the trust of the people who lived in the neighborhoods she served. She said relationships with the community are important because when community members trust their law enforcement officers, they are more likely to speak up when a crime occurs in their neighborhood.

"People are an investment," Hope said. "We cannot do this job by ourselves. We need advocates. That's why we try to foster these relationships."

As CMU's Chief of Police, Hope said she would appoint and train advocates in each residence hall who could keep her updated about what is happening in their individual residence hall.

Hope said she would handle big events like tailgates in a way that keeps people safe but still allows them to have fun.

"Who am I to have my officers come in writing tickets when you just paid for a $100+ spot to have a great time," she asked. Instead of writing tickets when someone gets rowdy, Hope prefers to approach them and kindly ask them to settle down. That is part of her philosophy to treat community members with respect so she and other officers are treated with respect in return.

Assistant Director of University Communications Ari Harris asked why Hope was interested in coming to CMU since it is so much quieter than the city of Detroit. Hope said she is looking forward to the quiet atmosphere and wants to train CMU police officers the same way as big city officers, so they will ready for anything.

The fourth finalist, Scott McCanham, will speak at a forum at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 16 in the Charles V. Park Library Baber Room.