“There’s an unfortunate disconnect between the police and the public,” said Hebron Police Department Detective Sergeant Kyle Belec, “I think if people understood what we deal with on a daily basis and the fact that things can change in a heartbeat, there’d be more understanding. We really need to improve communication.”
Belec, Hobart born and raised, had wanted to be a police officer since he was seven. At that young age, the equipment was what caught his eye – specifically the patrol car. Now, he works the road and supervises the Hebron patrolmen.
A lot happened in those twenty odd years, but one contributing factor carried Belec from wide-eyed gearhead to Sergeant Detective: his D.A.R.E. officer.
“I looked up to him a lot,” Belec said of his now retired Hobart Police Department mentor. For young Belec, this relationship offered insight on the value of communication in community policing.
That’s why Belec runs the Hebron Police Department’s Facebook page. He uses it to keep the lines of communication open between the department and the community.
In his line of work, Belec sometimes deals with terrible accidents. Consider a lethal firework. Belec’s job is to figure out what went wrong and how to prevent anything similar from happening again. The Facebook posts can serve as a sort of Public Service Announcement after Belec cracks the case.
“We’d like to educate the community on what exactly happened and how to avoid it,” Belec said.
Belec, like his fellow officers, gives back to the community he serves.
“We try to keep things local,” Belec said of a recent case where a woman was seriously injured when a criminal hit her while trying to escape in a car chase, “We all donated to her well-being and to help with her medical bills. It was really awful, but we want to do good whenever we can.”
In fact, Belec’s favorite part of serving the Hebron community is knowing he’s doing the right thing.
“I enjoy my job. I like being close to the community and helping the people in it,” Belec said. “It’s really rewarding when they thank you and hug you and encourage you to keep your head up.”
Belec has other sources of comfort and strength that make a tough job a little easier to come home from: his dog Ghost and his cat Scrub, or Sergeant Scrubbert McSqueakers if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.
When Belec’s not on the job, he enjoys the outdoors, and the Region has plenty to enjoy. Although he hasn’t been skimboarding or surfing in a while, Belec continues to focus his energy in other ways: he plays guitar, bass, mandolin and banjo.
“I really enjoy music and I play quite a few instruments,” said Belec, “If I wasn’t a police officer, I’d be busking on the streets.”
Belec’s vision – both in and out of work – centers on benefitting the community through open and honest communication. Either through helping someone in a tight spot or lifting spirits through song, Belec can be counted on as a true patron of the community.