NORTH CANTON  John R. Minock grew up in North Canton and graduated Hoover High School in 1982. He’s lived in North Canton his entire life, first with his parents and now with his wife, Christine. He’s also worked in the city for most of his adult life.

After achieving the top score on the recent civil service promotional test, Minock was sworn in as the new police chief in North Canton by North Canton Mayor David Held on June 26. He’s filling the position that opened when former Chief Stephan Wilder retired in March.

Minock went into the police academy at age 22 while he was an unpaid auxiliary officer with the North Canton Police Department. Two years later, he became a part-time officer in 1988 and was sworn in as a full-time patrolman in January of 1989.

"Even as a little kid, I was fascinated with becoming a police officer," Minock said. "My dad (James Minock) was an auxiliary officer with the Stark County Sheriff’s Department before serving for 12 years with the North Canton Police Department."

Minock was promoted to Sergeant in 2011. He became a detective for a few years before getting promoted to lieutenant in 2015 where he was responsible for the uniformed patrol officers.

He’s also served in many other capacities over the years with the department. He was the first bicycle patrol unit in the city and he’s worked with the Child Abuse Task Force.

He said he’s adapting quickly to his new position. Many of the duties are the same as he performed as Sergeant and Lieutenant. Minock said he never really aspired to be in leadership positions when he started out as an auxiliary officer.

"I’ve been honored to be able to work with the department and just wanted to do my job. But as people started retiring and the leadership positions came open, I decided to try for the promotions," Minock said. "I can’t say enough about the group of people we have on the force. The only changes I’d like to implement is to cross-train people so that we have people to fill in when others go on vacation or are out of the department."

The North Canton Police Department has 24 full-time officers and two part-time. It serves six square miles and 17,000 people. Minock said the biggest crime issue the city has is with theft from parked cars.

He said a rash of purse snatchings pop up every couple of years. And, as other cities and townships, the officers encounter overdoses form heroin. All of the officers are now carrying Narcan, which is the antidote for heroin or opioid overdoses.

"My goal is to continue to provide a sense of safety for everyone in the city. I encourage people to call us with questions or concerns. Many people think they are bothering us but we are here to serve and take care of the community. I’m honored to be able to serve the residents of North Canton and I hope my service makes a difference in the community."