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Q&A:?Officer reflects on 30 years

April 16, 2012
The Marietta Times

In 30 years with the Marietta Police Department, Matt Hickey has certainly seen the police force evolve.

He's seen the days when officers had to answer some calls by pay phone, and he's seen the computer age when virtually everything can be done from the inside of a police cruiser.

Hickey, a canine officer with his veteran four-legged partner Boyd, has also seen the impact on officers, as they have to handle more responsibility on a daily basis.

Q: How has being a police officer changed during your time with Marietta Police?

A: It's a lot different. When I first started our communications was a lot different. We relied on radio traffic, and if we had a call that they didn't want to put over the air it'd be on pay phones. We're computerized now, too. We have computers in the cruisers and just recently, within the last couple months, we're able to run license information - driver's license, license plates, wanted checks - from our cruiser with an on-board computer.

Q: What about the staff? What changes have you seen to the staff of the Marietta Police Department?

Fact Box

Matt Hickey

Age: 53.

Family: Wife, Sandra, two daughters, two grandchildren.

Experience: 30 years with the Marietta Police Department, brief time as private investigator.

Education: 1982 graduate of the Ohio Highway Patrol Academy.

A: I see our calls for service are a lot more. As far as manpower, I really couldn't tell you. I think we're a little bit lower in manpower than when I first started. We didn't have D.A.R.E. and we didn't have a school resource officer. We didn't have the IT guy. I think we had like, 18 or 19 when I got on that were actually working the street.

Q: What do you see for the future as far as staffing? What will be the responsibility for officers in the future?

A: I think police officers are going to have to be more tech savvy, with computers and the different computer crimes that are going on. I'm an old man, and the computers in the cars have sort of set me back a little bit in trying to figure out how to use them. Of course, there are other older officers here at the department that have no problem with that. I think they're going to have to be a lot wiser, maybe a little bit more educated in communication skills.

Kevin Pierson conducted this interview.



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