Chief retires a second time

Union Township will be losing a dedicated public servant as the year 2005 wains with the resignation of Chief Tom Knox, a 10-year leader for the Union Township Police force. A veteran of police work for about 42 years, Chief Knox has manned the helm of the Union Township force since shortly after his first retirement after more than 30 years with the police department in Hamilton.

“I have to call it a resignation, because I did retire once,” said Chief Knox. “But, in effect, I am retiring for the second time around. I was the police chief in Hamilton and was there for 30 years. I retired from there in 1993 and came here in 1995, so I was the chief there for 10 years and here for 10 years.”

Chief Knox, who began his work with the police at the age of 21, is now expecting to spend some quiet time with his family at their property in Clermont County and in Naples, Fla. where he moved after his first retirement. Knox, who graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a criminal justice degree, and later from the FBI academy in Quantico, Va., doesn’t exactly know why he became a police officer, but said that it’s never failed to draw his interest.

“I really can’t give a definite answer for that,” said Chief Knox. “This was something I was always drawn towards. I always enjoyed law enforcement, and when I came home from the Air Force I started in college with criminal justice, and I’ve enjoyed my whole career. It’s been successful and rewarding, every day of it.”

Knox said that he was approached with the offer of chief in Union Township as part of an effort to professionalize a department that had been suffering from growing pains. In fact, according to Knox, most of the department was replaced in the early years of his administration, with the help of a strong core of officers who he said has helped him mold the Union Township Police into a top level professional team. Those three officers, Lt. Zinser who continues to serve and Capt. Mike Burns and Lt. Mark Griffith who have recently retired, deserve a lot of thanks, said Knox.

“They were the command officers when I came here that assisted me in professionalizing this office and I want to give them a lot of credit,” said Chief Knox.

Chief Knox noted that enforcing the law is an obvious central duty to any police officer, but said that going beyond that is what makes a department truly effective in its community. That, he said, has been an enjoyable part of his time with Union Township – getting to know his neighbors as part of a true community service organization, not just a run-of-the-mill police department. Knox, who said that he’s been a chief so long that he can’t remember what it was like to be any other part of a