National Mentoring Month: How a Mentor Can Assist a New Police Chief’s Leadership Transition

In recognition of National Mentoring Month, we are sharing stories about the value of law enforcement mentoring. Earlier in the month, Chief Dave Funkhouser discussed the importance of serving as a mentor to the next generation of law enforcement leaders.

Few events in the life of a police agency are as critical, as visible, or as stressful as a change in leadership. In this post, Chief Brian Reedy of the New Holstein, Wisconsin, Police Department shares his thoughts on how having a mentor helped with his leadership transition.

BR Mentor Blog 3It was just over five years ago, after receiving the phone call from the Mayor, that I learned I was selected as the Chief of Police for the City of New Holstein. My thoughts at the time were a mixture of excitement and hesitancy knowing there was going to be some hurdles I would have to overcome. At the time I was the least senior officer of the department, and now I was going to be the Chief. The majority of the department was senior officers and support staff who had been with the department for more than 10 plus years. I knew some changes had to be made to make the department more efficient and effective for the community we served.

A few months after being appointed, I reached out to the IACP New Police Chief Mentoring program.  I recall the day (as it was yesterday) that I received a phone call from my mentor. We spoke at length over the phone about our department, the community, and my “concerns.” He then took the time out of his day to come and meet with me, and we talked for a couple of hours. The assistance, advice, and many resources he has provided to me over the past few years have been outstanding! 

It doesn’t matter how small or large of a department, we serve we all encounter similar issues and are each willing to help each other. To this day I still keep in contact with my mentor.”

Brian Reedy
Chief of Police – City of New Holstein, Wisconsin

Are you a newer chief ready to find a mentor through IACP’s New Police Chief Mentoring Program?

For questions about finding or becoming a law enforcement mentor, contact Jennifer Styles at or 703-647-6804.

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