Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Detective Bob Knight: Still A Hero Of Mine, After 37 Years

Today I received an email from my retired Denver Police Officer’s group, on behalf of Laverne Knight, whose husband, retired detective Bob Knight, is having some serious medical issues. A neighbor is making a memory book for Bob, and Laverne asked if officers could contribute funny stories or photos. I don’t have a funny story to contribute, but I certainly have a wonderful memory of Bobby Knight. It’s one I have talked about in many classes when I mention the positive impact we can have on others.

I was a “police woman,” newly hired in 1969, and assigned to the Delinquency Control Division as an investigator. (How is that for an outdated sounding police division?) I was more of a curiosity than a welcomed addition, although almost everyone was friendly. On my second day I was in Sergeant John Leavitt’s office when he called Detective Knight in and asked him to take me with him when he conducted some interviews. Detective Knight said sure, he’d be happy to take me along. That alone made him my hero! I don’t know how old he was then (probably early 30’s to my 23), but I thought he was the most sophisticated, mature, urbane, well-dressed detective in the division!

We went to the downtown May D&F department store to interview a clerk about a sizeable shoplifting incident. Detective Knight started to interview her, but stopped, turned to me and said, “Why don’t you do this one?” I was incredibly nervous and my heart was pounding, but I tried to act as though I had interviewed lots and lots of people in my lengthy career!

After I was done, he finished with a few questions and we left. As we went down the escalator he said, “You did a good job. I think you’re going to like being a detective and you’ll do well at it.” I was thrilled to hear him say that, and I said, “I tried my best! Do you REALLY think I did fine?” He smiled and said, “Well, no. Not fine. But good.” That was still a great thing for me to hear, and I called my mom long-distance when I got home, to tell her that a brilliant detective had complimented me!

Ironically, in my career I was a patrol officer, technician, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and a United States Marshal, but I never had the title of  Detective!  Nevertheless, I have often told that story about Detective Bob Knight, to remind people of the instant impact we can have–either positively or negatively–on those who look to us for support, encouragement, approval, guidance or leadership. Detective Knight is still a hero of mine!

 

January 15th, 2008 Posted by | Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 2 comments