BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Two longtime friends are being sworn in this week to lead the Waterville Town-ship Police Department.
Kevin Smith, who retired from the Toledo Police Department in 2021, was named chief. Philip Gallup, who retired on July 31 from the Sylvania Police Department, was selected as lieutenant. An August 2 swearing-in ceremony was set to welcome the two.
“Kevin and I both started with the state police, and while we worked for different departments for 30-plus years, we maintained our friendship,” Gallup said.
While he had offers from other small departments, Gallup said it was the opportunity to work with Smith that sold him on Waterville Township.
“Kevin’s got the right work ethic. He’s a good guy. They are lucky to get him. He’s a wealth of knowledge,” Gallup said. “We both bring a lot to the table with our experience.”
Smith, a Bowling Green High School and Bowling Green State University graduate, finished the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy and worked for a few years in Shaker Heights before returning to Toledo, serving as a sergeant during most of his 27 years with TPD.
“At the time, sergeant was the best job in the department, so I never took another promotion test,” Smith said, explaining that a sergeant is in charge of the street and his people. “I couldn’t think of anything better than working with the people. Every officer I worked with in some way has trained me to do this job, so I’ve been trained by over a thousand officers.”
Trustee Julie Theroux referred to Smith’s legacy as a leader with TPD, noting that many of those who served under him praise Smith’s management style – which he describes as “management by expectations.”
“There’s nothing more frustrating than to go into a job where expectations change on a daily basis,” he said. “When the supervisor changes every few months, a lot of times they don’t explain what their expectations are, and that person has to guess. That causes stress and conflict. I have a list of things that are important to me, and I keep a list of officers’ expectations.”
He also keeps in mind that every officer is different, with unique skills and interests.
“I want to make them better with coaching, but if they’re good at something, I want to give them the ball and let them run with it,” he said.
Recruiting and keeping officers is a challenge for every department right now, and many are hiring officers away from other departments. With the township’s department down to three officers, Smith plans to reach out to now-retired TPD and other area law enforcement colleagues in order to build up a full-time and part-time staff to provide 24/7 coverage.
“A lot of these guys, when they sign up for deferred retirement, are looking at retiring eight years out. After a year of not working, they’re bored and miss the job or camaraderie, but still have certificates. They’re looking for part time but don’t want to get into pursuits and shootings every day,” he said.
He jokes that when he retired from TPD on September 2, 2021, he said that “hell would freeze over” before he put on another uniform.
“Working on the streets in Toledo at 60 – it kind of wears on you,” he admitted.
During his two years off, Smith got into golfing, researching his family tree and taking care of his 5-acre property. As he started seeing job openings for area police chiefs, he began thinking, “I think I still have something in the tank. I think I could help a department out with my experience.”
His wife, Carrie, agreed, because his reasons to get back into policing had nothing to do with the wrong reasons: money, title or boredom.
Over the past week he’s spent touring the township with officers, Smith said, he’s been amazed at how 90 percent of the people he passes on the street stop to wave at him.
“That’s not normal. In Toledo, I had rocks thrown at me sometimes,” he said. “The support of the community is here, and it’s a perfect place for community policing. A lot of these guys want to go out and provide safety and a sense of peace to the community. “
Smith credits retiring chief Charles Humes Jr. for organizing the department and making the transition easy. He also praised Gallup for his willingness to give up a few months of retirement pay in order to begin working for the township before a 60-day waiting period between retirement and new work.
While Smith headed to TPD, Gallup’s career path took him to Sylvania Police Department, where he spent 32 years in a variety of departments – starting and ending in the detective bureau. During that time, he relished training opportunities, including field training at Northwestern University, FBI SWAT training, first line supervision training at The University of Toledo and “Harley school” to become a motorcycle officer.
After learning how to do drug investigations with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Gallup teamed up with the DEA, FBI and members of other area law enforcement agencies to become part of a metro drug task force that nurtured drug cases all the way through the court system.
He’s also trained numerous officers.
“If you got hired in the late ’90s or early 2000s, you came through me,” he said.
Eventually, Gallup took on the role of community affairs and school resource officer, working for the schools and coordinating with area churches and organizations on events in the city.
As Sylvania grew with annexations and expansion, the department grew. Gallup has seen the same expansion in the Anthony Wayne area, which he’s called home since 2000. His daughter, Breanna Gallup, graduated from Anthony Wayne High School in 2016 and is finishing up a master’s degree to become a clinical counselor. Son Spencer is currently a University of Toledo junior.
While he won’t be taking time off between the two jobs, Gallup plans to continue enjoying his favorite activities in his free time: fishing and visiting the Caribbean.
“I still think I’ve got a lot of knowledge bouncing around in my head,” Gallup said. “I look forward to nurturing the new officers coming in and giving them some of the knowledge that I’ve learned over the years.”