Sir Chief Jeffrey Blackwell has now been the Cincinnati Police Department Chief for a year. As promised earlier, I will now provide my own rating for his performance during his first year in the position. I had previously completed this entire article and was preparing to publish it but decided to do some edits first. The first two sentences above is all that remains of the original article. The first time around the article was full of sarcasm (imagine that) and allegations based on rumor and third-party reports. After reading the article over several times I decided to take the high road and take an entirely different approach as to providing a rating for Blackwell.
One may ask, why do I feel I have any qualifications to provide any rating for him in the first place. I can only respond with one word, experience. In that I mean, during my tenure with the Cincinnati Police Department (1971-2014) I have served under seven different Police Chiefs, and a myriad of others acting as chief during administration changes. This experience gives me opportunity to evaluate by comparison. In my opinion, I have worked for some of the best and some of the worst. And, oddly, some that started out very good and ended up very bad. Based on these many years of “Chief Watching”, I have drawn some conclusions regarding the current chief. I give Sir Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and overall rating of “DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS”.
A few examples of what, in my opinion, keep him from being a good leader are:
Tends to assume credit for projects successfully completed during his administration but were the vision and were started by a predecessor. Owning the successes of others is fairly common in the Police Department, but one would expect more from the chief.
Tends to bring the spotlight upon himself as opposed to highlighting the accomplishments of members of the department. This is evidenced by the many self promoting pictures he publishes on his own personal Twitter account as well as the Cincinnati Police Department’s Twitter account. I believe his job is to promote the Department and it’s members, not himself.
His qualifications to be the Chief leave a lot to be desired. I spoke of this in earlier blogs and my opinion has not changed. He is one of the least educated of the Command Staff. He has a questionable background and tends to put himself before others. Evidence of this are reports of demanding entry to a roof top event during the Black Family Reunion, (reported to me by a reliable source) his attempt to foist himself (unsuccessfully) upon the Vice President of the United States, and putting himself at the front of the line at a private funeral are just a few examples.
I need to make it clear that these are not only my opinions. I spoke with a lot of people who are familiar with Blackwell. I tried very hard, but unsuccessfully, to find someone with a positive opinion of him. I am sure there are those who like him just fine, but none came forward during my search.
I realize that none of this makes him a bad chief, on its own. But the old adage, where there is smoke there is fire, certainly applies here. His actions are more those of a politician than a Police Chief. And let’s face it, he is a political appointee. He is where he is because he was appointed by a lame duck city manager. When selected he was demonstrably the lease qualified of all candidates. His accomplishments, or lack thereof, thus far prove this to be true. Since his appointment the face of politics in Cincinnati have changed. I think it is time that the Mayor and new City Manager take the reins and right the wrong. It is time to bring an end to the Blackwellian era. The citizen’s of the city of Cincinnati deserve better.
You can also rate the chief. Participate in the poll below. All entries are anonymous. I am interested in seeing how others rate him.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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