Sgt. Frank Kemp Jr., the most recent promotion at the department, said he still is getting the feel for his new role but welcomes the added responsibilities.
“To me, it’s like putting on a new pair of shoes,” Kemp said. “I’m still figuring out how to tie the laces on them. So we’ll see what the future brings.”
Kemp, a graduate of Timken High School, started as an unpaid auxiliary officer in 1994. That was after earning an associate degree in business and communication from Kent State University and serving nine years in the Ohio National Guard.
He went on to become a part-time officer in 1995.
But it was those hours working as an auxiliary that first showed his peers and supervisors he had the dedication to go on to higher ranks.
“If you asked my family, I spent more time here than at home because it was something you wanted to do,” Kemp said. “You came out and rode for free.”
His hard work since the beginning always has been apparent, said Lt. Michael Wurgler, who has served as provisional chief since .
“What we saw with the auxiliary (position) is we saw his dedication,” Wurgler said. “He was the same as a part-timer, and he also excelled as a patrolman.”
“He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and then some.”
Kemp's promotion fits into a restructuring plan that will eventually turn six lieutenant positions, which was the case in January, to two lieutenant and four sergeant positions.
Recent retirements include and . Recent promotions include and Kemp, who both have gone from patrolman to sergeant.
Kemp also is a member of the bicycle unit, Special Response Team, Stark County OVI Task Force and Stark Metropolitan Narcotics Unit. He’s also a field training officer and department firearms instructor.
He received the North Canton Jaycee’s Distinguished Service Police Officer Award in 2005 and is the assistant scout master for Faith United Methodist Church Troop #211.
Kemp said he enjoys interacting with North Canton residents as well as being a part of a friendly community.
“This has become home.”
Kemp resides in the city with his wife Debbie. They have an adult daughter and teenage son.