Behind the Badge – Mary Shaw

Behind the Badge – Mary Shaw

Mary Shaw was born and raised in Topeka and graduated from Topeka West High School.

She was working at Radiology and Nuclear Medicine when her co-worker suggested they apply at the police department because they were getting ready to move into the current location and were hiring in the Records Department. She filled out the application and a few months later was called for an interview and started in Oct. 1995.

She worked five years in Records, one year in Crime Analysis, and is currently in the Chief’s office where she’s been for sixteen years.

One of the things she enjoys most about her job is that every day is different. “You never know what your day will consist of and it can change in a matter of minutes.” She says she also enjoy working with all the employees. Some call her the “mom” of the department. 🙂

She has served as Secretary for the FOP Foundation and currently serves on the Credit Committee at the Topeka Police CU. She helps with fundraising efforts that benefit the Police Department such as sending officers to the National Memorial in Washington D.C., Cops and Kids, and events that benefit employees, etc.

In her free time she enjoys cooking/baking, scrapbooking, crafts, and spending time with family and friends. She has a daughter, Emma, who is 18. She’s also an animal lover and has two dogs and a cat.

Mary is vital part of this department and we thank her for her time and hard work!


Behind the Badge – Cadet Caitlyn Cochran


Cadet Cochran grew up in Topeka, graduated from Hayden Catholic High School, and is currently attending Washburn University.

She says she always looked up to her dad, Major Bill Cochran and all the hard work he has done at the Topeka Police Department. He was a big influence for her wanting to pursue a career in law enforcement.

She joined the Explorers post at the Topeka Police Department in August 2013 and was in it until she became a Cadet with the department in June 2016. The program influenced her to pursue a career towards Law Enforcement, stating she had some great officers who led the Explorers program. Through the program she was able to go on ride alongs with officers who became like older brothers to her and some of her closest friends.

In the past 6 months she has had the opportunity to spend time in a couple different areas of the department learning new things. She has spent time in the Chiefs Office, CSI, Training, and Records. She states her favorite part of the job is being able to work at the same place as her dad, as well as attending community events and meeting new people.

Her family is very active at their Church and the events that happen there. She also volunteers at the Topeka VA in one of the nursing home areas where her aunt works. The first time her mom took her to see her aunt at work she was only a couple days old and all the veterans gathered around her mom and aunt to see the baby. Her aunt called it baby therapy and she’s been going back ever since that day!

She comes from a family where law enforcement runs in the family from TPD, Sheriff, and Corrections. Since the day she decided that this is what she wanted to do with her future, her whole family has been very supportive and encouraging. She says she may not be the first Cochran to be a police officer, but she will be the first female in the family to be a police officer!

Behind the Badge – Cadet John Munoz


Cadet Munoz grew up in Topeka, Kansas and attended Seaman High School. He’s currently attending Washburn University where he will graduate in May with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
His interest in law enforcement began with his father, SGT. Manny Munoz who is a 20+ year veteran of the police department. When he became of age and was able to be more involved in the explorer’s program, he was able to get out into the community and was drawn to make a positive difference in people that he had contact with.
He joined TPD as a cadet in June 2016. Since then, he has been assigned to the records division, criminal investigations bureau, field operations, and the chief’s office. He says his favorite part of the job is being able to see all aspects of the department before becoming an officer. Another benefit is getting involved with the community. The cadets have worked many community events and he feels as if it left a lasting impact on those they made contact with.
In his down time, he likes to spend time with friends and family, fishing, hunting and working on cars.
Cadet Munoz has been a huge asset to this department and we thank him for his time and hard work!

Behind the Badge – Derek Weidle, Crime Analyst

dBehind the Badge – Derek Weidle, Crime Analyst

Derek D. Weidle, M.S.C.J., began his law enforcement career in 1990 and has served as a sworn police officer with the Beaufort, N.C. Police Department, and the Havelock, N.C. Police Department and has been a Special Deputy with the Carteret County, N.C. Sheriff’s Department since 1993.
He is a trained Telecommunicator, Certified Law Enforcement Instructor, N .C. State Certified PCII Officer and has served as a Crime Analyst for the New Bern, N. C. Police Department. Derek has been a Crime Analyst for the Topeka Police Department since June, 2012.
Derek obtained his A.A. degree with Central Texas College while deployed with the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa in 1986, his Bachelor’s Degree from N.C. Wesleyan College in 1995 and his Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University in 2003. He has also worked as a Surveillance Officer with the N. C. Department of Community Corrections.
As a Crime Analyst with the New Bern Police Department, Derek was responsible for the development and implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures and Physical Security Procedures for the Eastern Regional Information Center, a Department of Homeland Security funded project providing an information sharing platform for law enforcement agencies in the eastern triad of North Carolina. The Eastern Regional Information Center’s mandate is to share criminal information as well as provide a link to the State’s Information Sharing and Analysis Center concerning potential Terrorist activity. Derek has been both an Instructor and Program Director for Criminal Justice Curriculum at Craven, Carteret and Pamlico Community Colleges.
Derek has also served abroad, both as an Intelligence Analyst, Counterintelligence Specialist in the Marine Corps and as an International Police Monitor and Law Enforcement Instructor. Derek spent three years in Okinawa where he deployed to Korea and the Philippines. He worked on various staffs, including joint command staffs. As a Police Monitor, Derek served in Kosovo, both as a Regional Intelligence Chief and as the Executive Officer to the Deputy Police Commissioner for Operations for the U.N. Mission in Kosovo. Derek has also served as a Police Mentor in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan, providing training, mentoring and evaluation of the Afghanistan National Police in that area. He has also served as a Law Enforcement Instructor for the Sri Lankan National Police Force.
In his free time, Derek enjoys reading, golfing, attending sporting events. Derek is a great asset to this department and we appreciate his hard work!

Behind the Badge

We’re starting a new segment here at the TPD called “Behind the Badge” in which we highlight the people who stand behind those who wear the badge. This is just another way to get to know your Topeka Police Department!

Behind the Badge – Elizabeth Toyne, Volunteer Coordinator

Liz grew up in Topeka and attended Shawnee Heights schools. After graduating from high school she attended Allen County Community College and the University of Phoenix, earning her bachelor’s degree inPsychology.

Before joining us at the Topeka Police Department, Liz worked for Shawnee County Parks and Recreation, as a camp counselor, at the Velma K. Paris Community Center where she was the Director of day camps, and at Old Prairie Town where she was the Volunteer Coordinator. This past November, Liz came to work for us as our Volunteer Coordinator. She handles the organization and implementation of the Citizens Academy, Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) the Ambassadors, Chaplains, and interns. She also organizes ride alongs and tours of the LEC.

She says the best part of her job is the people she works with. She likes knowing she is able to make an impact and serve her community in this role. It’s important to her to support law enforcement officers, and loves seeing the community’s support in return.

When Liz isn’t at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and young son. She’s an active member of her church where she is the Children’s Pastor and part of the Worship Team. She’s still a volunteer at Old Prairie Town and a great baker.

Liz is a wonderful part of Team TPD and we thank her for her time and hard work!13880397_1040559345999769_644682858032135254_n

Beyond the Badge

We’re starting a new segment here at the TPD called “Behind the Badge” in which we highlight the people who stand behind those who wear the badge. This is just another way to get to know your Topeka Police Department!

Behind the Badge – Rachel Pantos, MBA, Senior Project Manager

Rachel grew up in Topeka and attended Shawnee Heights High School. After high school, she attended Kansas State University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Human Development, Family Studies, and Social Work. She then went on to earn her Master’s in Business Administration from Washburn University.

Before joining us at the TPD, she worked as a teacher, with the Girl Scouts, and at United Way. With the Girl Scouts and while managing a federally funded after-school program Rachel gained experience with local and federal grants.

In 2007, she began with the Department as a grants manager. In 2012 she accepted her current position as Senior Project Manager for the Topeka Police Department. Her job duties include managing several grants, and ensuring that the department remains CALEA compliant. CALEA is the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. It is an international program that sets the highest standards for the operation of law enforcement. These standards range from how we handle traffic stops to HR issues.

Rachel says what she enjoys most about her job is that she is in a position that allows her to affect change, and help better our community by keeping the department compliant, which ensures we are the best of the best.

Rachel does a great job, and we thank her for all her hard work!13876180_1040380882684282_2942433193278224651_n