|Photo courtesy Palmer Police Department|
Palmer Police Chief Tom Remaley
For several years, Palmer’s police department struggled with a problem. Instead of being a stable workplace for quality officers, it became a stepping stone; officers would be hired, trained and then they’d move on to other, higher-paying posts elsewhere.
In 2001 the city hired Russ Boatright, a recent retiree from Anchorage Police Department, as its chief and he and other department leaders worked to change the management philosophy, focusing on leadership and using strong principals – respect, compassion, integrity, efficiency, fairness, balance, ethical performance, reverence for the law and community-based policing – as guidelines when choosing whom to hire, how to train officers, how to equip them and how to help them do their jobs.
After a decade leading the department into one of the most stable in the state, Boatright retired last month. The city selected Tom Remaley, who served as interim chief in 1999 and actually hired Boatright as a part-time officer prior to his being selected as chief, to lead the department.
Remaley worked along with Boatright to implement the changes that have brought about stability and accolades. He said the department now has 14 officers, most with advanced degrees and certificates from the Alaska Police Standards Council, and most notably, who have an average of 9.5 years of experience with the department. A supporting cast of 12 dispatchers help things run smoothly.
|Courtesy Palmer Police Department|
The city police department patch
Remaley prefers to play a supporting role and didn’t want to be directly quoted in a story about his new post. He’s been an officer with the department for nearly 20 years, starting out as a reserve officer in 1993 after retiring from the military. He did a stint as a dispatcher in 1994 and in 1995 became a patrol officer, working his way up to lieutenant in 2005.
But it’s not about his accomplishments, Remaley said. It’s about the team – a team that takes its oath to serve seriously. As an example, he pointed to a robbery that happened in the early morning hours at McDonald’s in late May. All three suspects were in jail that evening, Remaley said.
Remaley wouldn’t hand over a recent photo to accompany this post – he said he’s not photogenic and plans to be very involved in the community, so if residents don’t know him by now, they will soon. We happened to stumble on a slightly dated photo of him floating around online, however, and couldn’t resist posting it.
Congratulations, Chief Remaley, and good luck!
-- Rindi White