Tom Kisela

News for the Neighborhood
Tom Kisela
Police Chief Tom Kisella celebrates not only his first year as police chief, but his 30th year with the Police Department.

Orange Police Chief, Tom Kisela, may be a relatively new chief, but after working with the department for 30 years, he is by no means inexperienced. After spending a majority of his career in investigations, six years in narcotics and serving as a supervisor in every division of the department, Kisela was named Police Chief earlier this year, and he wears the title proudly.

“As chief, I’m now responsible for the whole department, as opposed to just a component,” says Kisela. “I’m setting the pace for what we’re doing and how we’re interacting with the community, as well as setting goals and implementing ways to best serve Orange. Being able to help people in this way is exciting and fulfilling.”

The people he serves are no strangers to him. Kisela moved to Orange in 1977 and attended junior high and high school in the city. During his time with the police department, he has seen his share of ugliness, such as having to arrest a man with a loaded gun on Christmas Eve. What keeps him working, though, is being able to make a difference. He made an impact for years keeping drugs off the streets, and he has seen his fellow officers go to great lengths to show humanity.

“A few years back, officers received a call about a woman who shoplifted shoes. The store owner didn’t want to prosecute, so the officers went back and bought the shoes,” says Kisela. “When you deal with the police department, you’re normally calling on the worst day of your life. We have some of the most caring officers here, who do good deeds all of the time.”

Captain Jeff Burton has worked with Kisela for more than 28 years and says that what makes him an outstanding chief is his humility. “Chief Kisela is very open to feedback from his subordinates, and he’s a real cop’s cop,” says Burton. “He’s not there for any self-serving motivation; he’s there to serve the police department. He has a genuine interest in the community.”

Published in the Sep/Oct 2016 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review

Written by Elana Katz, Photograph by Jeanine Hill

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