After greater than 25 years with the Philadelphia Police Division and at a public security expertise firm, Joe Sullivan will develop into the brand new chief of the Wichita Police Division subsequent month.
KMUW’s Kylie Cameron sat down with Sullivan earlier than his tenure begins to get to know him extra as an individual and to get his first impressions of his new dwelling.
This interview was edited for size and readability.
Kylie Cameron: What are your early impressions of Wichita to date?
Joe Sullivan: That is an rising metropolis. It undoubtedly is. I feel the way forward for the town within the subsequent 5 years is absolutely shiny. The persons are very welcoming. It is a very constructive vibe. Coming from a metropolis like Philadelphia, there’s a lot to do right here. And I feel that is a false impression. Lots of people on the East Coast, they have an inclination to assume that Wichita is simply purely rural, and I have been correcting them very passionately.
You grew to become a cop at 19 years previous.
I wasn’t sufficiently old to drink or purchase a gun.
What drove you to try this?
My father was within the police division, he was in HR [human resources]. And I feel that rising up, I used to be simply round it. It was the factor that I all the time wished to do. And to be sincere with you, once I was in… faculty, I used to be younger and wasn’t terribly targeted. And I acquired a name to report back to the police academy. And, … I could not get there quick sufficient.
A few years later, I needed to end that training as a result of I noticed I aspired to sooner or later be one thing just like the police chief of Wichita… and so I made certain that my kids acquired their training first after which started their careers as a result of I did not need them to make the error I did.
We have talked store, we have talked insurance policies. Who’s Joe Sullivan, as an individual?
I feel they really intertwine as a result of I have been doing this for thus lengthy… it is such a dedication. However I imply, as an individual, I am a father of three grown kids. I’ve a daughter in Chicago. And she or he is definitely an animal biologist; a quantitative biologist. We’re not even fairly certain what meaning, the remainder of the household. However she’s completely sensible. She simply acquired again from Rwanda. She was there serving to her native colleagues study a software program program designed to trace a sure breed of gorilla that is not on the endangered listing. So she’s been everywhere in the world doing conservation.
And my daughter, Tricia, she lives outdoors of Seattle. And she or he is into inside design and could be very profitable at it. After which my son is, he is… in law enforcement, and I would like to depart it there. However he is truly within the state of Kansas proper now.
You additionally stated in earlier interviews that your son and daughter-in-law are concerned in regulation enforcement. What’s it prefer to have a household so concerned within the profession?
On one hand, it is nice as a result of we are able to speak about regulation enforcement. I’ve all the time been capable of give him quite a lot of course, when it comes to what to look out for… I will be a father and a mentor, and we’re undoubtedly greatest pals. And that is one thing that I did not… have approaching the job. So it actually makes me really feel good to have the ability to assist him in that manner. However he is form of taking issues to the subsequent degree. So it is superb to listen to him speak about his rising profession.
However, after all … I fear. Now I am on the opposite aspect … they needed to fear about me, and now, all of us fear about him.
Philadelphia is understood for a lot of issues, the sports activities scene being one in every of them. Are you an enormous Philadelphia sports activities fan?
I’m an enormous Eagles fan. So it really works out that Andy Reid is the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. And I actually do like Patrick Mahomes… I feel he is an unbelievable expertise … I actually admire him on the sector and off the sector; I feel extra gamers needs to be like him. So it is a simple transition; I can root for each. And I simply pray that they do not find yourself within the Tremendous Bowl competing in opposition to each other. I will be in fairly a bind then.
You’ve got lived in Philadelphia for all of your life. Are you anticipating the transition to form of a smaller city like Wichita to be difficult?
I feel I did at first. And like I stated, I got here out simply earlier than the Halloween weekend, and I went again on … that Tuesday. And any doubts that I had had been undoubtedly erased throughout that go to. I imply, I simply had such a very good time, I did not actually wish to get again on the airplane. So now, I actually do not assume that is going to be an issue.
It is a skilled enterprise for me, taking on the division and changing into the chief, and it is a big division. Nevertheless it’s a private journey, too, once more having lived your life in a metropolis on the East Coast and shifting to Wichita, Kansas. However I am actually enthusiastic about it. I actually am.
What are you trying ahead to, as you are getting settled in your new metropolis?
Personally, I feel it is that sense of group that I’ve skilled right here. The place persons are simply actually partaking with each other and the distinction in tradition. It is actually a metropolis that is so filled with tradition.
Is there anything that you just wish to add?
I am actually grateful for this chance, and … you are gonna get 150%. It is an awesome metropolis. And it is a actually good division. I do know there’s some issues that I have to do. And I am shortly changing into conscious of what they’re, however it’s a excellent division, and we’ll make it an awesome division.