John Kolinek adds fresh support to Baylor police

John Kolinek boasts 25 years worth of police experience in the city of Waco. In his new role as Baylor police captain, Kolinek will augment the precint’s administrative support capabilities. Photo credit: Sarah Pyo

Over the summer, the Baylor Police Department created a new captain position and added six new officers to their force in order to improve campus safety and security.

The new captain, John Kolinek, formerly of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, has already spent 25 years serving Waco and its surrounding communities and is now an official member of Baylor law enforcement.

Unlike captain Danny Knight, who oversees patrol, Captain Kolinek will be in charge of administrative support functions. These include: budget, dispatchers, equipment, evidence and security coordination for special events.

“John brings so much knowledge and skill, administrative skill, to the position,” said Brad Wigtil, Baylor chief of police. “He’s a real man of integrity and, I think more importantly than all that, is he has a servant’s heart. He has a heart to serve this community and to also serve the members of the Baylor Police Department.”

In his time at the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, Kolinek worked as a patrolman, sergeant, lieutenant and captain. He oversaw the county jail, handled the office’s budget, controlled the jail’s budget, ran courthouse security and worked with the commissioners court.

Wigtil said Kolinek stood head and shoulders above his competition for the new captain spot and the decision was easy to make.

Wigtil will serve as Kolinek’s mentor as he becomes acclimated to Baylor and begins to form his own vision for his division of the department.

“My heart is to serve John, and help him be successful in this new role for him,” Wigtil said.

Previously, the support functions were divided between the patrol captain and Wigtil himself. Kolinek will assume responsibility for everything in time.

Per an outside security assesment company, Margolis Healy, Baylor needed to increase police numbers to meet the national average ratio of students to officers.

Wigtil said that it could take up to six months for Kolinek to learn and get used to where the Baylor Police Department is, compared to the sheriff’s office Kolinek is so familiar with. Once he is accustomed to the department’s vision, Wigil said he wants to know what Kolinek’s vision for his section will be.

“We’re excited to have him,” said Mark Childers, Baylor’s associate vice president for public safety and security.

Childers said Baylor brought in a safety consultant company, Margolis Healy, about a year and a half ago to assess Baylor’s existing programs.

“Baylor has grown so much and it was time to reorganize safety and security to better provide and protect Baylor students, faculty and staff,” Childers said.

Childers’ position was created as a result of the outside assessment, in order to unify all the safety and security groups. Campus police, emergency management, parking and transportation, fire safety and physical security all report to Childers.

The assessment report from Margolis Healy was also responsible for the recent hire of Kolinek. The report suggested that Baylor Police add another captain, in addition to the patrol captain.

With that suggestion also came the recommendation to hire more officers in order to bring Baylor up to the national average ratio of officers to students. This fall, six new patrol officers will join the force to raise the numbers and keep the campus on track.

Wigtil said Kolinek joining Baylor law enforcement will be an incremental process as he adjusts to the new environment and meets all of the current and newly hired officers. According to Wigtil, Kolinek is “quite a guy.”

“He’s a great catch for Baylor University and he will serve the community very well,” Childers said.