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Succeeding as an Assistant Chief

Assistant Chief Bill Reilly

I still clearly recall the telephone call: I was recuperating at home from shoulder surgery that had taken place a few weeks earlier.  Because I was a captain at the time and responsible for a police district, my surgeon told me to stay out of work until I could safely handle my field and administrative responsibilities.  In the few weeks that I was laid up, there was an abrupt change in leadership at my department. 

The acting chief that had been in place was removed by the city’s leaders and a new acting chief was installed.  The city leaders had vowed to conduct a national search for the department’s next permanent chief and this new acting chief, who had come up through the ranks, was to hold the position until that permanent chief was selected and installed. But I digress, back to the phone call.  It is the newly named acting chief of police asking: “Bill, how soon can you get back to work?”  After I explain my doctor’s recommended timeline the acting chief counters with: “Can you move that up?  I need someone up here that I can trust.”

Next Page: It’s About Trust >>>

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    about 3 years ago


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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 5 years ago


    Most of this is correct. I made the mistake of letting my "new" Chief know that HE was the Chief, I would have his back, conversations would be kept private, I was not a threat to his position and I would offer honest opinions to his questions when asked. Reluctantly, I also told him that I was not an ass kisser and was not a yes-man, I'm a type-A personality and this is like kissing my sister, I just can't do it. Well, guess what? That's exactly what a Chief wants even though they'll tell you they don't. So, my advice is to read this article over and over, kiss you sister and you'll do well instead of taking early retirement!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 5 years ago


    I too had a movement after reading this. Thank you as well.

  • Rod_b_max50


    about 5 years ago


    I was very moved by this article. Thank you for sharing this point of view.

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