Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

TPD Major Retires after 26 Years ; Major: Conklin Recalls Changes

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

TPD Major Retires after 26 Years ; Major: Conklin Recalls Changes

Article excerpt

Topeka police Maj. Scott Conklin said it may sound a little cliche, but he knew from the time he was a small child he wanted to serve the public as a police officer.

"It's a childhood dream," Conklin said Thursday afternoon while sitting in his office adjacent to Chief James Brown's office. "I dreamed of being a patrol officer."

Conklin's 26-year career -- the last year of which he has served as a major -- at the Topeka Police Department will end Sept. 14.

"What a privilege it is to be a police officer -- but also to be a major," he said.

Conklin, who was born and raised in Ellenville, N.Y., currently serves as executive officer to Brown.

Right out of high school, Conklin joined the Army. He served as a military police officer and was stationed in South Korea and, later, at Fort Riley, where he ended his career in the military.

"I was active for seven years," Conklin said. "I liked Kansas -- it was a good state."

So he decided to apply for positions in law enforcement in the Kansas City area and in Topeka. At the age of 25, Conklin joined the Topeka Police Department. Conklin spent his first six months riding with an officer on third shift because there wasn't an ongoing academy at that time.

"It was a great experience," he said.

Conklin spent 22 years in the patrol division as a corporal and sergeant. He also has worked as a field training officer, field training supervisor, recruiter and hostage negotiator. He served with the response team and with the professional standards unit, too.

Conklin has worked under nine chiefs, been through five officers' deaths, held a dying woman in his arms and witnessed significant changes in technology.

On Oct. 12, 1995, Conklin was serving on the response team when Officer Tony Patterson was killed during a drug raid at a central Topeka apartment.

"It doesn't get any easier," Conklin said about officers' deaths. …

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