Richard Mann is sworn into office as Spring Hill police chief. Submitted photo

Mark Taylor
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Spring Hill has a new police chief.
Richard Mann, who has worked for the department since 2008 and has served as interim police chief since late last year, was hired from a slate of 30 candidates for the job.
“I am very honored,” Mann told The Gardner News. “I have achieved my lifetime goal for my career. That was the highest goal I had set for myself in my career. I am really pumped up, jazzed and excited to work diligently for the city of Spring Hill and for my officers.”
Mann, who oversees a department of 12 full time officers, was born in Des Moines, Iowa and raised in Overland Park.
He graduated from Blue Valley High School and started his law enforcement career in 1999 with the Oswego Police Department in Labette County in southeast Kansas.
From there he joined the Labette County Sheriff’s Department in 2002.
When a patrol job for the Spring Hill Police Department opened in 2008, Mann jumped at the chance to return home to the Kansas City area.
“Spring Hill was hiring for patrol,” Mann said. “I knew Spring Hill from when I lived in Stanley, and I decided to try to move back to the area. I got hired in March of 2008.”
Four-and-a-half months after joining the Spring Hill Department, he was promoted to sergeant.
Mann said he was attracted to law enforcement as a career because he is community minded and enjoys helping people.
He saw law enforcement as a way to serve others and to have a positive influence in their lives.
“Initially I wanted to be a police officer or a fighter pilot,” Mann said with a laugh.  “The fighter pilot part didn’t work out.”
Mann describes his leadership style as “leading by example.”
“I am in the trenches with my officers,” he said. “I try to lead by setting a good example. I am not a ‘do as I say and not as I do” person. You said high standards for yourself, and your officers will follow.”
Mann said his short term goals include “getting back to the basics” and maintaining a strong rapport with community members.
“I am excited about interacting with the community and making that relationship stronger every day. Without our citizens, we don’t have law enforcement. It is very important for law enforcement to continue that relationship with the community.
“We are public servants, and we are here to protect and serve the community.”
Mann, who has four children ranging in age from 2 to 18 and three of whom attend Spring Hill schools, enjoys boxing, martial arts and fishing in his free time.
He said one of his top priorities is to maintain accessibility for citizens.
“I believe in being able to talk with community members, whether it be citizens, business owners or the governing body. I think everybody and anybody can resolve issues at hand with communication. “
“Communication is key.”