New Chief of Police Mike Broadhead arrived in Statesboro Wednesday night and has made a couple of public appearances before officially starting work Monday.
Anyone who hasn’t met him by April 25 will have an opportunity that Tuesday. The Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce’s government and collegiate relations committee has scheduled a reception for Broadhead from 4:30 until 6 p.m. in the Averitt Center for the Arts’ main gallery. He will also be attending some civic club meetings beginning next week.
Arriving after sundown from Riverton, Wyoming, where he was police chief for seven years, Broadhead spent the first night here in a hotel and devoted Thursday to chores such as having the water turned on at his apartment, he said. In some ways, his arrival resembles that of many newcomers to a university town.
“I’m living like a college student,” Broadhead told a reporter Friday at City Hall. “I had to go to Wal-Mart and buy a plastic chair so I’d have something to sit on.”
He has a wife and two teenage sons, but they are waiting to make the move after the end of the school year.
Met top state cops
Broadhead and Deputy Chief Robert Bryan dropped in late-morning for City Council’s annual budget retreat. Bryan wasn’t scheduled to make his presentation about the Statesboro Police Department’s needs until the afternoon, as one of his final actions in an 18-month stint as interim chief.
Earlier Friday, they had attended breakfast at SpringHill Suites with Georgia Board of Public Safety members and law enforcement officials from around the state. The board, which is formally chaired by Gov. Nathan Deal but whose vice-chair, Ellis Wood of Statesboro, presides at most meetings, held its April meeting Thursday at the Georgia National Guard Armory in Glennville. It preceded an annual law enforcement appreciation cookout near Glennville that night hosted by area businesspeople and sheriffs and attended by some of the state’s top law officers and politicians.
Some of the same officials were reportedly at the breakfast here Friday. By going, Broadhead has already met the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and leaders of the state police academy, along with officers from agencies such as the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Southern University Police and Georgia State Patrol.
Meets troops Monday
A more requisite meeting is slated for Monday, when the new chief expects to greet all 75 of the Statesboro Police Department’s employees.
“These next couple of weeks will be a whirlwind of meetings and faces and new everything, but it’s really important to me to meet with the whole department right from the word ‘go’ and make sure they understand who I am and what my philosophies are and where we’re heading,” Broadhead said.
That count of 75 SPD employees includes 63 sworn officers and 12 civilian personnel, Bryan said. The department is budgeted for 74 sworn officers, giving it a total workforce of 86 when fully staffed.
To lead them, Broadhead has been hired at a $99,000 salary.
Before his 29 years thus far in municipal police work, he served from age 18 in the U.S. Army as a military police officer. He has a master’s degree in public administration from American Public University and a graduate certificate from the School for Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University.
His longest tenure was 21 years with the police department in the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colorado, where he rose through the ranks as patrol officer, detective, patrol sergeant, traffic sergeant, detective sergeant, detective lieutenant and staff services lieutenant before leaving for Riverton in December 2009.
Bryan and Broadhead have been communicating long-distance for weeks to prepare for the transition.
“I’m just looking forward to working with Mike and getting him introduced around town and moving forward from that point,” Bryan said. “He’s got a lot of energy, he’s a great guy, and I think he’s going to serve this community very well.”
Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.