Jeff Halstead retired as the Chief of Police for the city of Fort Worth, Texas after a 30+ year career. Jeff rose quickly through the ranks of the Phoenix Police Department before making the jump to Texas.
After retiring, Jeff didn’t set up a beach chair in the sand and order a pitcher of margaritas (my current retirement plan). Nope, it seems when Jeff retired that’s when the real work began.
Jeff founded Hope4Blue.org, a non-profit organization devoted to several missions. Most importantly, taking care of officers who’ve had to medically retire and who need medical care their retirements and disability insurance don’t cover. They also fund training and equipment for officers and departments that can’t afford the most basic supplies.
It all results in a group that is devoted to making the lives of officers better every day.
I was struck by how a guy who’d done his service at the highest ranks went back and focused on the line-level officers.
In this episode we also cover:
– The hi-tech messaging app he developed just for cops that encrypts communication and protects you from civil litigation.
– How he was mentored, and how to run a mentoring program at your agency.
– The one book that influenced his entire life. (Enlightened Leadership)
– Decision-making up and down the chain of command
– Why education-based discipline needs to replace punitive discipline for officers.
– The difference between leadership, supervision and management. How we confuse the terms and who is really in charge of a department (hint: it’s often not the chief).
– The importance of having “IT-free” date nights and how it’s helped him have a successful marriage.
– What he wishes every line officer knew about being chief.
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