New police captain reflects on challenges
The Lorain Police Department has a new captain.
Mike Failing, who was a lieutenant, recently was promoted to captain.
Failing, who has been with the department for 25 years, officially was sworn in Dec. 3.
“I had been given some new duties over the last 18 months which are essentially done by a captain, so it was nice to pass the test and receive the official title,” Failing said. “I had to go through the psychological exam that looks at personality and leadership. I’m glad I passed and am able to move up.”
Failing said the biggest difference he sees now is being able to see things through from start to finish.
“I oversee the different issues and transactions that occur,” he said. “I can see the beginning of the project and the end.
“Before, I would eventually pass it to someone else. Now it’s more of a management style role, and it’s fulfilling to see each step of the process.”
Failing said the new challenge excites him.
“I like learning to do something new,” he said. “I’m learning a different aspect of the job that I didn’t know of before.
“For example, a patrolman might need a new car. I now am in charge of the actual purchasing process of that car. It’s kinda peeled back the curtain to how a department is run.”
Failing said he spent his entire career with Lorain but also worked with Amherst Police.
“I was part time over there from 2009 until this year, and I did it to gain some experience in a different type of city,” he said. “I have aspirations to be a chief someday, so I wanted to see how a department is run in a place like Amherst.
“It’s a different style of having fewer calls so there is more time to do community stuff. Lorain, by contrast, has a higher volume of calls, so you are constantly going from call to the next one.”
Failing said there is a moment from early in his career that has stayed with him to this day.
“I remember being called out to a domestic situation at 20th Street and Beach Avenue,” he said. “We were told the male had left, but we searched the house and found him in the basement
with a shotgun to his head.
“I told him to put the gun down, and eventually, he did. It one of those things you don’t forget.”
Failing said he was able to handle tough situations due to the training that Lorain police officers undergo.
“We constantly train here and cover 90 hours a year when some departments get around 40 hours,” he said. “It helps to prepare us for any scenario. It makes it so when you experience a situation, it doesn’t feel like the first time.”
Failing said the job has changed since he started as a patrol officer.
“You need to be more educated than in the past,” he said. “After I was hired here, I went to school to get a degree in criminal justice and then my master’s.
“The job has evolved over the years,” he said. “Enforcement has become more of a profession than ever before, and people aspiring to be officers need to have school, especially if they have an aspirations of moving up the ladder.”
Failing said his favorite part of the job is talking with people.
“I love looking at different groups and doing what I can to make people’s lives better,” he said. “That’s what I find rewarding about the job.
“We need to change the perception of law enforcement. We want members of the community to see us a people, not just officers.”
Failing is the first African American captain in the history of the Lorain Police Department.
“It’s kind of odd to think about a department that’s been here as long as it has, hasn’t had an African American captain,” he said. “It isn’t something I really think about, but it’s a nice added thing.”
Captain Mike Failing answers the phone at the Lorain Police Department.