Covington Police (re)gains 30 years’ experience

From left, Covington Police Chief Brian Valenti, Justin Schmidt, Dave Coots, and Mayor Joe Meyer.

Two veteran officers sworn in

COVINGTON, Ky. – Two officers were sworn in as “new” Covington Police officers this morning, though neither are actually “new” to the Department.

One officer, Justin Schmidt, has almost 10 years’ experience as an officer, six of those in Covington. The other, Dave Coots, brings decades of experience, having retired from Covington PD after 22 years.

“We’re getting a wealth of experience here,” said Covington Police Chief Brian Valenti. “It’s not every day that you get to welcome 30 years of police experience back into the Police Department. I’m really looking forward to that maturity.”

Prior to serving with Covington Police, Schmidt was a police officer with the Kenton County Police Department. He started as a Covington patrol officer in 2012 and left in 2018 to start his own business. He owns Schmidt Services, LLC in Alexandria.

Coots was hired under a program approved by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2016 that allows Cities to hire back retired officers on one-year renewable contracts if they have 20 years or more of experience. He is the seventh officer currently serving in Covington under that program.

Coots and Schmidt will complete an abbreviated field training program and join Covington’s Patrol Bureau afterward. Chief Valenti said the training will include two weeks of administrative training on policies and certifications that the officers will need in order to be on the street again, and they’ll complete a month or two of field training on patrol.

“Generally speaking, we expect these officers to get through all training within about 12 weeks total,” said Valenti.

The two were sworn in by Mayor Joe Meyer during a brief ceremony at Covington City Hall. Meyer praised Chief Valenti and the Department and reminded the officers that their relationship with the public is an important one.

“Community relations is very important to Covington,” the Mayor said.


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