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Newly appointed chief of police in Pikeville has big goals for the department

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -The city of Pikeville has a new police chief, Michael Riddle.

Riddle entered his first day of “official” office earlier this week.

He’s no stranger to law enforcement, with 17 years of experience at the Pikeville Police Department.

“I grew up in this area. My kids grew up in this area. My wife works in the school system. I would want people to know that I’m a normal person. Sometimes my job is different than others where I have to see people maybe in their worst situations, but we’re just trying to do our job,” Riddle said.

He is taking leadership at a time when departments around the country are facing scrutiny over transparency.

“People make mistakes. Police make mistakes. The best thing we can do is own it and be open about it,” Riddle said.

Neighboring departments have added more non-lethal weapon alternatives like a Bryna launcher to their belts.

He believes there’s an advantage to officers having both lethal and non-lethal weapons on- hand. Police officers within the City of Pikeville are equipped with both.

“If they see a Taser and an officer has it in their hand, a lot of the time the person will say follow guidance from the officer,” Riddle said. “But what we can’t do is have (no weapons) in a situation that could be potentially deadly to our officers or someone else. At that point, we would have to use deadly force in those situations.”

Riddle doesn’t want the community to be alarmed if they see more officers out. He said it’s just about improving community policing.

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