After the Webinar: Career Survival within the Administrative Ranks of Policing, Part 1. Q&A with Dennis Nayor

Webinar presenter Dennis Nayor answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Career Survival within the Administrative Ranks of Policing, Part 1.  Here are just a few of his responses.


Audience Question: Could you restate a couple of things for us? What did the acronym CHAT stand for, and then also, what did FIC stand for? She was taking copious notes and missed a letter or two. 

Dennis Nayor: So, chat, just came up with something that we can connect and relate to and it’s for dealing with, working, and managing your responses with the media, and that’s to be communicative, to be honest, to be approachable, and to be transparent. So, chat, be communicative, honest, approachable, and transparent. And for FIC,  it’s my way of remembering always being fair, impartial, and consistent. That was huge for any leader of any role, but, especially at that top chief level, fair, impartial, and consistent in the method of operating.


Audience Question: How did you learn to become a chief? How did you settle on these six key areas as being the ones that were so important to focus on? 

Dennis Nayor: Because I didn’t have them when I started. When I became chief, I didn’t want to be a chief. I liked I was Lieutenant. I always was an overachiever, and I was the person that the community wanted, and I was the one that, when the opening came about, I was not going to say no to it, and I had to learn a lot of this as I went in. Some of it was the School of Hard Knocks. And then, being a chief in two cities, I had just different experiences and dealing with everything from — to collective bargaining issues and union matters and crime and a pandemic and protest. I just learned a lot, and I went to lots of trainings because I’m always learning. I’m always trying to grow, and I tried to consolidate everything that I felt would be the six areas to me that are the most important for someone who’s a chief or wants to be a chief. And it just came to me. Risk management, building those relationships, public safety, navigating those politics, planning, and what knowledge do you need? So, I kind of came up with it through seven years in total of serving as a police chief.


Audience Question: Dennis, do you think having a PIO or some agencies is called a social media person or a communications manager? Do you think having that person in that information or communications role is a nice-to-have role, or given the day and age that we’re now living in, is it becoming more important? 

Dennis Nayor: I think it’s definitely more important and sometimes to the effect of actually having someone who’s maybe that’s their specialty, that they’re not an officer who learned how to do it. They’re actually someone who’s skilled in media relations through… maybe they worked as a newscaster somewhere and I think it’s really important. But I think in logistics, it may not always be possible, but I think someone in that role is good, that it just keeps that communication fluid. It keeps the community in touch with the department and the department in touch with the media as a go-to person. And that person can elicit when the chief needs to put a comment or quote in. They can do that. So, it’s hard to answer. Yes, in the best-case scenario, every agency should have one, but logistically with the shortages that agencies are facing, sometimes that’s just not always possible.


Audience Question: Having been a chief at multiple agencies, how would you recommend an officer at the line level bring issues with failure or shortcomings to your chief or sheriff? How should we approach it? 

Dennis Nayor: I think, for the chief to have good relationships with the union. And that way, if the union – the union president and chief have established maybe twice a month they meet to cover whatever items are up. That way, it’s not waiting for something to be a problem than that officer at the line level can at the next union meeting or police officer association in some places, whatever it may be called, can say, hey, can you bring it up that the chief or sheriff is putting in this policy and it really doesn’t align with a lot of ease for us to apply it. Then the union president from their platform can have that conversation with the chief. So, I think that’s why, when I put in there, understand the collective bargaining and the union or Police Officer Association dynamic, and being willing to do that. So, hopefully, if that doesn’t exist, that officer who asked that question, can talk to their union president and see if they can establish those regular meetings so that they can cover items as they come up.


Click Here to Watch a Recording of Career Survival within the Administrative Ranks of Policing, Part 1. 

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