How can you tell when someone truly loves their job? Danvers’ Police Chief, Michael Kemp, shows his passion and love for his job. In this week’s edition of “Meet the Chief” we learn about why Chief Kemp became a police officer, what it is like working in his profession, and why he loves his job.
Kemp grew up in a police family, his father was a police officer. “I grew up as many police officer’s kids do, looking up to him and wanting to emulate him,” stated Kemp. The bond between the police families he grew up with still holds strong today. This, along with a genuine care for public safety, is what really pushed him to become a police officer. Kemp’s genuine care for public safety is shown through his presence in the community. In the morning, all of the elementary kids start smiling when they see Officer Kemp holding the door open for them and greeting them into the building. Kemp explained, “By being a police officer, you are frequently the one there to demonstrate compassion and significantly impact a person’s life in their time of need.” Kemp said the connection with the students at a young age has helped the department with many interactions with the community’s youth. He stated that this is the most rewarding part of his job.
Many police officers have similar experiences but working in a small town is unique. Rural police departments have a lot less to work with than urban departments, such as: smaller budgets, less equipment, staffing issues, less technology, and no officer wellness or stress management options. There are no specialized units and you must be able to separate personal relationships from your job. Chief Kemp explained, “...you have to be able to arrest someone one day and have a cup of coffee with them the next.” Rural police officers have a true passion for their profession.
Kemp began working with the Danvers’ Police Department in 2008 and was promoted to chief in 2013. While discussing his overall favorite part of the job, he stated, “I think the best part of the job has been the opportunity to meet all of the people that I have met and had the pleasure of working for. Law Enforcement is not a job, it’s a calling.” Chief Kemp has left, and will continue to leave, a great impact on the Danvers community.