Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Jon Huntsman, Jr. talks with Chief Ron Kirby. photography/Alleen Lang

May 5, 2005
Tooele Police Chief earns USU master’s

Leading a police department in a growing city requires specialized skills. Tooele City Police Chief Ron Kirby believes he gained some of those skills by completing two years of classes at Utah State University Tooele Campus.

Kirby was among 45 USU Tooele Campus graduates last Friday at commencement exercises at Tooele High School. He earned a master of social science in public administration degree.

“I did it to help me do a better job,” Kirby said. “Police work is much more complex now than it was several years ago.

We face challenges of tighter budgets, using technology more effectively and dealing with complexities in administration. My goal in taking the classes was to become a more effective leader.”

The police chief graduated from Weber State University in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He worked for the Utah Highway Patrol for several years while he lived in Tooele. In 1998 Kirby was hired as police chief in Tooele. He has lived in the city for 18 years.

The chief raved about the courses taught at the USU Tooele Campus where he spent time on Fridays and Saturdays learning specialized administrative skills via satellite. “We met together in front of a TV and we were able to see the teacher and other students; and they were able to see us. There were students from St. George, Roosevelt and Logan in the class,” Kirby said.

“That school [Tooele Campus] is a great treasure to the community.”

The chief spent four hours on Fridays and five hours on Saturdays taking the courses via satellite. “I could not have done it without the support of my family. Before I took the courses I talked about it with the mayor.

He also was very supportive,” Kirby said.

The chief leads a department of 27 sworn officers. The department has added only three officers in the past six years.

“Gang problems were not big several years ago. Now, we need to think of more strategic ways to confront the gang problem. The job of a street cop has stayed the same with all of its complexities, but technology and communications has vastly improved in law enforcement,” Kirby said.

The chief said instructors for his classes were indeed real-life experts. One political science course dealing with leadership in public organizations was taught by a former member of the Central Intelligence Agency.

“You can’t beat that type of instruction,” Kirby said. He also took courses in employment law, compensation and benefits, advanced methods of social research, human resource planning and staffing, program evaluation, budgeting and finance, strategic management, organizational theory and managerial economics.

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>