White woman in wire-rimmed glasses smiling in a pose with a police hat and uniform on

To accomplish something means that you have successfully achieved what you set out to do when you started a task. If you accomplish something you are a person that has done well, typically because of study or practice. It takes hard work and dedication to accomplish anything successfully in life and on the job.

Columbus Police Department Chief Kimberley Jacobs is one of those people who has accomplished many tasks in her career. She joined the CPD in 1979 and was promoted to Commander in 1995. She moved to Deputy Chief in 2009 and has been in her current position as Chief of Police since 2012. She was the first woman to be promoted to each of those positions.

Chief Jacobs was appointed by the Governor to serve as a Commissioner on the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission, she sits on the Board of Directors for the Center for Family Safety and Healing. Jacobs created a separate Domestic Violence report and was responsible for the reorganization of Internal Affairs to investigate all citizens complaints. Records show that Jacobs was even responsible for taking police “division personnel” on “field trips” to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the new National Museum of African American History and Culture to teach them the importance of understanding their role as police in “protecting” Human and Civil rights. That’s a lot of accomplishments and there are more that I didn’t list.

It seems that Chief Jacobs has done a lot to ensure that the police officers that serve under her leadership have tools needed to “serve and protect” the people of Columbus, Ohio. It appears that she understands the importance of treating domestic violence victim differently than regular calls. Yet she hasn’t spoken out against allegations of reports of children, Black children, who are raped being sent “junk email” and not investigated. I guess the reorganization of Internal Affairs to investigate ALL citizens complaints still needs to be organized.

It seems the Governor felt that Chief Jacobs can lead the Ohio police departments into being able to “peacefully” resolve conflict through training. Of course, that may just be because the word “peace” is used in the same sentence as officer training that gives me that impression. However, the recent shooting death of a 24-year-old mother of two by an undercover Columbus police officer on August 23rd would make you think otherwise.

According to reports, he put her in his unmarked car, put her in a position that scared her, and he was stabbed in the hand and shot her eight times. Now, if you know about the Golden State Killer, who committed 12 murders and 45 rapes, then you can understand why any woman would be scared if a man pulled them into their car and, according to other reports, blocked her so she couldn’t get out of the car. As of this writing, Chief Jacobs has remained silent.

On August 22nd, the Columbus Department of Public Safety found that the Columbus Police and their internal affairs investigation unit of the CPD did not meet burden of proof in its charges against Lieutenant Melissa McFadden. They claimed McFadden created a “hostile work environment,” among other accusations. Chief Jacobs recommended McFadden be fired. Male police officers have beaten, shot and killed unarmed people, mostly Black males, which wouldn’t be known if not for social media and they have not been “recommended” to be fired by Jacobs. A police officer speaks out about discrimination and mistreatment of Black officers and she, McFadden, who is that Black woman police officer, must defend herself against her white female boss.Did I mention that another accomplishment of Jacobs is that she is a member of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council and Pride Council?

What I would like to see Chief Jacobs accomplish is a way for her officers to use their video cameras on their person and in their cars; accomplish being a leader who understands that “the buck stops” with her, the boss, and that as the leader she needs to be willing to face the reporters, citizens and people who she serves and give us answers to our questions about how her department is run, how she feels about the actions that her police officers take, and what she plans to do about it to ensure that justice is served.

She testified to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. We may not be the president, but we do pay her salary and would appreciate some accountability from Chief Jacobs, in person, when the police officers who she leads fail to carry out their job duties in a professional, safe manner. If we, the people, could hear directly from Chief Jacobs, that would be a great accomplishment. Talk with us. We’ll listen.

Appears in Issue: