Urbana Police Officer Jason Kizer was recently promoted to the position of sergeant.
The promotion went into effect Sunday and Kizer was sworn in during Tuesday’s Urbana City Council meeting in front of co-workers, family and friends. The promotion fills the vacancy left by the promotion of Josh Jacobs to the lieutenant position earlier this month.
A 2002 Graham High School graduate, Kizer graduated from Clark State in 2004 with an associate’s degree in criminal justice and graduated from the Clark State Police Academy in 2005.
“Just being around people is always what drove me to law enforcement, just being there in somebody’s time of need,” Kizer said. “I didn’t want to sit at a desk all day and wanted to have the opportunity to kind of go out in the community and be outside and I wanted something different to do everyday.”
During his 11-year tenure with the Urbana Police Division, Kizer has held different responsibilities, including being a field training officer, overseeing OVI testing equipment and managing the division’s property control system and bulletproof vest grant.
Since 2012, Kizer has also helped present the division’s Safety Town program. Kizer said working with children through this program has been uplifting.
Kizer said the role of a field training officer is the most important job in the division because they are responsible for training new officers.
“It really meant a lot to me being able to do that because I’m very detail oriented and it’s kind of how I see law enforcement as being,” Kizer said. “You got to pick up on the very small pieces to put the big picture together and that’s what I try to teach the new people coming in – don’t overlook the small things because then you’re going to mess up the big picture.”
Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell stated during Tuesday’s meeting that Kizer is a problem solver type officer who gets involved in making the division better.
Lingrell added he selected Kizer to oversee the property control system due to the high regard he holds Kizer in and the type of character he has. In that role, Kizer is responsible for maintaining all evidence collected by the police division.
In addition to the multiple responsibilities he’s held, Kizer has received numerous awards throughout his career including the Distinguished Duty Award in 2015 and 2013, Exceptional Duty Award in 2014 and 2013, Chief’s Challenge Coin Award in 2014 and 2013 and the Physical Fitness Award in 2013 through 2015.
People Kizer said who have been helpful during the transition period are Jacobs and Sgt. Dave Reese. He added former Sgt. Ed Burkhammer helped him define what a supervisor should be.
Kizer said the biggest difference between his role as an officer and a sergeant is he now oversees investigations and plays a more hands-on role compared to taking the preliminary reports. He added he is looking forward to implementing case law into training.
Kizer said it has always been a goal of his to be a sergeant.
“You’re just involved in everything that all of the officers are doing and you’re kind of seeing a bigger picture, being a bigger part of the police department in general,” Kizer said. “I’ve always been leadership oriented and I always thought being a sergeant I can help lead guys and direct them to where they need to be and just be there for when they have a problem.”
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.