Chief Mike Ward Retires
Chief Mike Ward of the Alexandria Police Department will be retiring on January 31, 2019. Mike started his police career in the United States Air Force as a Security Policeman and after training was given his first Badge in November 1978. Over the next 11 years, he served in the following units: 321st Security Police Squadron, 319th Bomb Wing, Strategic Air Command, Grand Forks Air Force Base North Dakota, 7061st Munitions Support Squadron, US Air Forces Europe, Araxos Air Base Greece and the 906 Tactical Fighter Group Weapons Systems Security Flight, Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
Mike finished with Active Duty and began work with the Ft. Thomas Police Department as an Auxiliary in January of 1983. He then moved on to the Highland Heights Police Department as an officer from 1983 to 1985 and served with the Dixie Police Authority / Crescent Springs from 1985 to 2001.
Some highlights of Mike’s career: became a Sergeant at Dixie Police in 1992, became a Lieutenant at Dixie Police Authority and then Crescent Springs Police Department in 1994 and became Chief of Police at Crescent Springs Police Department in 1999.
In May 2001, he was appointed by Mayor Dan McGinley as Chief of the Alexandria Police Department. In his time with Alexandria, he has managed to guide the police department through many positive changes. He achieved State Accreditation within his first year as Chief and Alexandria Police Department has stayed accredited for the last 18 years. He was the first in Northern Kentucky to establish a Mobile Data System (Computers in Police Cars) and was instrumental in moving that system from radio to its current Cellular backbone. Most agencies in Kentucky now use cellular. He brought the Regional Community Policing Institute a program of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Program to Alexandria to assess the agencies successes and challenges with its community engagement. This was a huge undertaking – one in which as a leader caused him to really stick his neck out and expose his leadership style personally. The RCPI Team made the following comment: “The assessment team found a fully functioning police department being led by a police chief who is a progressive thinker and well respected both internally and externally in the Alexandria community. The chief and his staff have been implementing Community Policing programs for some time and have several very successful programs. Department leadership is now looking for suggestions on how to transition from a programmatic model into making community policing a departmental philosophy.” ~ RCPI Assessment Team 2007
His most notable achievement is the establishment of a new Police Social Worker program, a first in Kentucky. He reached out to Northern Kentucky University for help and has since developed an excellent working relationship with their Social Work department. He is constantly striving to develop and implement technological advancements to law enforcement as well as community programs for the public; to include the departments current Volunteers In Police Service Program and VIPS in Schools, to help keep our children safe both first in Kentucky and the Angel Program to help those addicted to opioids.
Some of Mike’s other achievements and accomplishments:
FBI National Academy’s 187th Session in 1996
Criminal Justice Executive Development Program Class # 1 1998-2000
Kentucky Leadership Institute’s School of Strategic Leadership in 2005
Appointed by three different Governors to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council from 2003 – 2019 where he currently is the Vice Chair
2003 Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to KY Law Enforcement
President of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police 2009
2009 Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police – Chief of the Year Award.
Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Award for Outstanding Leadership.
Original Member of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Fusion Center Board of Directors
2015 Inductee to the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame
Appointed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to their national Forensic Science Committee;
IACP’s New Chief’s Mentoring Program
IACP’s National Pretrial Working Group
Member of the Northern Kentucky Mental Health Court Board
Instrumental in establishing the Northern Kentucky Veterans Court that now serves Boone, Kenton & Campbell Counties.
Mike Ward has also served the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council as a council member, appointed by the Governor since August 2004. He has served as Chairman of the Certification Committee, served on the Professional Standards Committee and several special committees over the years and now serves as Vice Chair of the Council before stepping down due to his retirement. His expertise and insight into law enforcement issues will be greatly missed. Most importantly, Mike has been married to Carol for 27 years and has three daughters Elizabeth, Kimberly and Zaman.
Mike’s next endeavor is an assignment as a police advisor contracted by the United States Department of Justice through the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) in the Ukraine for a territorial community police project. He and his wife Carol will split their time between their farm in Alexandria and the Ukraine.