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Xavier Magazine | May 27, 2017

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Profile: Kim Nuesse

Caroline Purtell

Kim Nuesse
Bachelor of Liberal Arts, 2001 Police Chief, Sandusky (Ohio) Police Department

Changing Times | While working at the local McDonald’s as a teenager in the late 1970s, Nuesse quickly took note of the female police officer who often stopped by for coffee. At the time, there was still a lot of controversy about women doing traditionally male jobs, she says. “Seeing her and talking with her really inspired me to think, ‘This is something I can do.’ She was always very positive and she was very encouraging.”

Pursuing a Dream | After high school, Nuesse took classes at Xavier but still had an interest in law enforcement. In 1983, she decided to take a break from college to attend the police academy but first had to find a police department to sponsor her. “I went to many departments and was turned down repeatedly. They had one excuse or another, but it was obvious they didn’t like the idea of hiring a woman. I was frustrated.”

Taking a Chance | Xavier’s police department offered to sponsor Nuesse while she completed academy training. “At that time, University law enforcement agencies were more progressive, more diverse, so they were open to the idea and willing to try it.” Nuesse worked in university law enforcement at Xavier and the University of Cincinnati for six years before moving into different community police departments.

A Bright Idea | While working in Loveland, Ohio, Nuesse resumed classes at Xavier. A communications course sparked the idea for a television show called “Cop Talk,” which Nuesse hosted for two years on a cable access channel. “This was after the riots in Cincinnati, and I was hearing from a lot of minorities a lot of misperceptions they had about law enforcement.” She interviewed police officials, FBI agents and even the attorney general about different topics. The show, which attracted about 77,000 viewers a week, also included a segment on crime prevention and missing children.

Moving Up | The one-hour show aired until 2004 when she moved to the police department in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. “What brought me to Reynoldsburg from Loveland was a female police chief. I was very impressed with her. In my field there aren’t many female law enforcement executives, and I wanted to move up and advance in my career. I applied and competed for a lieutenant position so I could be mentored by her.”

Hail to the Chief | On Aug. 7, Nuesse was hired as the first female police chief for the city of Sandusky, where she oversees 56 officers in the heavy tourist area. After 20 years in law enforcement, she was happy to receive the news of her hiring. “It was a big moment of celebration in my house to have achieved a goal. It took a while to get here, but it was well worth it.”

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