It’s pretty common to hear cops grumbling about “admin” or some other vaguely depersonalized entity representing agency leadership — the Chief, the Sheriff, or one of their immediate underlings whose main responsibility sometimes seems to be to throw line-level troops under the next available passing bus.
Let’s face it: sometimes the term REMF — Rear Echelon M... uh, you know what I mean — is perfectly suitable and well-earned.
I believe REMFs to be a small and diminishing minority, outnumbered by great police leaders, but REMFs most definitely do exist.
A Chief shows that a key to good police leadership is holding yourself to the same ethical and disciplinary standards as you’d hold your officers.
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What’s the Opposite of REMF?
That’s why it’s particularly pleasant to come across a police leader whose moves and mannerisms exemplify leadership.
Now, I’ve never met Portland (Ore.) Police Chief Mike Reese, but judging from just one video, my gut tells me that he might well be a member of that group of great police leaders.
This week, the local media in Portland released a video that was intended for internal distribution only, and in which Chief Reese seemed (to me, at least) to demonstrate real leadership.
A recent U.S. Department of Justice report was critical of PPD officers’ use of force even as a spate of violent attacks on Reese’s officers had occurred the past week or so.
Recognizing that the DOJ report might put doubts — or worse — into the minds of his officers about using force in the event they too are attacked, Reese flatly stated his support for his troops.
“I want you to know that I support your daily work ...and the need to use reasonable force to take people into custody or to keep our community safe,” Chief Reese says in the clip.
“Your safety is a top priority for me personally, and it has been hard on all of us this past week to see and hear about officers injured while doing their best to resolve these incidents.”
Like I said, I don’t know Chief Reese, but I do like what I saw in him today. Perhaps you’ll agree. Check out his video message, and let me know what you think in the comments area below.
About the author
Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 750 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.
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