uniform division chief appointed
12th, 2008 by JOSHUA STOWE Tribune Staff Writer
Boykins hopes Walters will help unite police department.
SOUTH BEND -- Police Chief Darryl Boykins has named Capt.
Jeff Walters to be the department's new uniform division chief, in a move he believes
will improve officer morale.
of Police Boykins announced that Walters (left) will serve as the city's uniform
division chief, which is often considered the department's No. 2 job.
announced Friday that he'd chosen the 20-year department veteran to fill the slot
he had occupied before becoming chief late last year.
"We have worked quite
a bit together. He holds high respect for the men. He knows the tactical aspects.
He's what I call a born leader," Boykins said. "He's coming straight from the
street, so that will bring him a little bit more respect."
selection of Walters, the uniform patrol midnight shift commander since 2005,
comes just weeks after Boykins took office, pledging to improve officer morale.
inherited a department that last year saw repeated public squabbling between the
FOP union and former Police Chief Thomas Fautz. The two sides fought over a wide
range of issues relating to the department's administration and the state of public
safety in the city.
But now Walters, like Boykins, appears eager to mend
fences between the department's management and its rank-and-file officers.
sense and mutual respect are the two things that will form the foundation of the
new department we are trying to build," he said, adding that throughout his career,
he has always sought to "treat people with dignity and respect."
comments Boykins made in a recent interview, Walters spoke of the need to improve
departmental communication and to help officers fully understand the policies
and procedures they are expected to follow -- something the FOP had said Fautz
failed to do.
"If we can find ways to make their jobs simpler," Walters
said, "I think we'll be way ahead in our fight against crime issues."
Stephen Luecke, who appointed Boykins as chief, said he believes Walters will
be a good division chief in part because of "the respect he has from his fellow
Lt. Scott Ruszkowski, president of the city's FOP, speaks similarly.
always been an officer of the highest integrity, and he expects the same out of
his fellow officers. I think his leadership style is just contagious," he said.
"The way his leadership is will easily complement Chief Boykins' leadership style.
It's a win-win situation with those two. I know both the chiefs want to sit down
and open the lines of communication -- honest and sincere communication.
will be able to sit down, hold open discussions, and understand what all the expectations
are," Ruszkowski said. "I think now, in all honesty, that the mayor, the administration
and the FOP are all on the same page. I can't tell you when that's happened."
writer Joshua Stowe: