Chief Scott Knight started his career with the Chaska Police Department (MN) in 1976. The City of Chaska is located 20 miles to the southwest of Minneapolis. He has served as a patrol officer, detective, training officer, field training officer, firearms instructor, police fitness instructor, sergeant, lieutenant, and deputy chief of police. Chief Knight is a graduate/member of the FBI National Academy – Session 176 – and a graduate/member of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA).
Knight was appointed Chief of Police, of the Chaska Police Department, in January 2000.
Chief Knight has served as a faculty member, teaching administrative and rank-and-file officers for the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer and Command Academy and teaching to the Leadership Academy. He has also served as a faculty member for the William Mitchell College of Law Centers for Law and Leadership and the Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute.
Knight is a past president of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (2004 – 2005). He served for a number of years as Minnesota’s States Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP) representative to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and has served as the Chair of the SACOP North Central Region, which is comprised of the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Chief Knight was appointed to the IACP Executive Committee for two two-year terms, which is the policy-making body of the IACP, and is responsible for developing the means by which the association provides leadership in the world of law enforcement. He also has served as a senior advisor to the IACP on matters of national policing importance and on policy and practice development.
Chief Knight served as the Chair of the IACP Firearms Committee, from 2005 – 2012. He has been a leader in law enforcement’s fight against gun violence, violence against officers, and the illegal gun trade. Knight has met with numerous federal, state and local elected officials, and agency administrators in the pursuit of sound and sane laws, and public policy related to this critical officer safety and societal issue. Chief Knight speaks nationally to a wide range of groups and organizations about gun violence. He is very proud to have helped create the IACP’s “Taking a Stand: Reducing Gun Violence in our Communities” report. In addition, Chief Knight has testified before Congress on these matters. All of these efforts are in concert with the IACP/SACOP “Safe Shield” goals of total commitment to doing all we can to protect our police officers, as they protect us.
In 2010, the IACP joined nine other major law enforcement organizations to form the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. Chief Knight was chosen to be the chairman of the partnership, during its first year.
In 2010, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) appointed Chief Knight to service as a member of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) Executive Board. NIBIN is an ATF administered network of automated ballistic comparison. To date, NIBIN has linked over 60,000 firearms-related violent crimes. The Executive Board makes recommendations and provides guidance to the ATF regarding NIBIN operations; rules, regulations, and procedures; ballistic imaging technology, standards, applications, hardware upgrades, deployments, moves and removals; investigations and tracking of investigative leads; and external relationships to include expansion of the NIBIN Program to increase participation from Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.
In 2008, Chief Knight received with the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association’s “President’s Award” for his work on gun violence and officer safety issues.
Chief Knight created his department’s Gang Unit. In addition to this unit’s street work, unit members have given presentations to hundreds of police officers, attorneys, corrections personnel, teachers, school administrators, probation officers, parents, and community members from around the United States. The National Gang Crime Research Center presented the “Spirit of Excellence Award” to Knight and members of CPD’s Gang Unit for their work.
Chief Knight has worked as an advisor to National District Attorneys Association’s National Center for Community Prosecution and Anti-Gang Violence Initiative. In this capacity, Knight was part of a team that made site visits around the United States to assist local agencies with developing strategies to address gang violence and community related gang issues.
Knight is recognized as an expert in the area of police officer accountability, community policing, and the building of trust and partnerships with diverse populations and the police. Chief Knight created his city’s “Dialog on Race” and has brought together literally hundreds of people to participate in real hands-on conversation to inform, educate, and build appreciation of diversity in the community. Knight has served as a consultant to many other cities that have replicated these “Dialogs.”
Chief Knight received the League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions’ “2008 Human Rights Award” in appreciation of his efforts in building trust and partnerships with diverse populations and the police.
In 2013, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton appointed Chief Knight, as the law enforcement representative, to serve on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC.) The JJAC Board provides leadership and support in setting a vision for juvenile justice in Minnesota that is informed by evidence-based practices, multi-disciplinary experience and the diverse communities of Minnesota. Chief Knight serves on the Minnesota Juvenile Justice Reform Steering Committee (formerly the Minnesota State Advisory Board of the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative – JDAI)
Chief Knight had the honor of being invited to the White House on multiple occasions, during President Barack Obama’s tenure, to represent law enforcement to address issues surrounding Bullying, Gun Violence and Public Safety Policy, and to review the President’s Task Force Report on 21st Century Policing.
He served as a member of the Center for Public Accountability Board – an eight-member body, which was an arm of the Upper Midwest Policing Institute – whose purpose is to provide training and services on a national level to police agencies.
During the course of his career, Chief Knight has been decorated eight times. Knight is most proud of two leadership awards given to him by his own officers and one given to him by Chaska’s Latino community.
Chief Knight has served and is serving on numerous civic, faith-centered and nonprofit foundations and boards.
Chief Scott Knight retired from active duty, after 44 Years of service – serving 20 years as Chief – in January 2020.
Chief Knight now robustly serves as:
• A safety, protection and security consultant to individuals, and public/private entities
• Director of Public Safety Relations – Wrap Technologies, Inc
• A consulting strategist to the YMCA of the North – Equity Innovation Center of Excellence