ST. MARY'S, Kan. (WIBW) -- An officer is often inspired at some point in life to take on the responsibility of putting on a badge.
One police chief uses his parents' stories about the Cuban revolution to make his community of St. Mary’s a better place.
Chief Derek Cid can be seen patrolling the streets of the small community of St. Mary’s daily.
“Police work here is more personal, and you also see more of the service and more of the good in it.”
But small town policing isn't where his story began. Cid started his career in Miami-Dade County, Florida. A much larger community where one on one policing is almost impossible.
“When I came to Kansas, when I worked through the Riley County Police Department, yeah there was adjustment to the Kansan culture and really some of the aspects of policing for more of a rural kind of community. Smaller city,” Cid explained.
The reason behind his decision to leave the army and join the law enforcement community is still strong in his heart. His motivation came from his parents, especially his father.
“My father had wanted to be a police officer, but they were Cuban immigrants. At the time he would have been able to be a police officer, that’s when the Cuban government was basically going through its socialism and transition. So it was not something really you’d want to do in a country where basically the government was working against its people,” he recalled.
His parents would often tell stories about how Cuba had changed. More closed off and cut off from its people. Those stories helped him realize that’s not how a government should treat its people.
“I think that tuned my moral compass. That’s one of the things that my policing style is we’ve got to make sure we’re serving the community. We’re being professional. We have honor in what we do. We’re being transparent. I mean, the good or the bad, we’ve got to put it out there,” Cid stressed.
That mentality and community policing is where Cid thinks the industry is heading. He hopes his department will be an example to others across the country.
“The next era of police leadership, or police work is coming in which is going to be more community centered. More community engagement. More transparent type of law enforcement,” he detailed.
Cid says he hopes one day something will change in Cuba so the people there will know freedom like his family has here in America.