With resources already stretched thin, Capt. Brian Foley says he’s determined to do more with what little the police department has when he takes over as chief next month.
A 26-year veteran of the local police force, Foley will succeed , making him the fourth consecutive chief who started his law enforcement career in Union City.
Foley’s promotion was approved by City Council in a closed session interview Tuesday night, the same night that the city honored Stewart for his service.
“I am completely grateful to lead the department as chief,” Foley said before City Council. “This department is comprised of completely dedicated individuals … With their support, we’ll be successful in facing any challenges that come before us.”
Foley was a shoo-in for the job, Stewart said in an interview last week.
“Brian’s a great police officer, a great leader and a good person,” Stewart said. “He’s been here many years. The department, as well as the community, has full confidence in him and it’s well-deserved.”
Foley, 51, has held various positions with the department, from crime scene investigator to SWAT commander. As a captain, he’s overseen both the field operations and support services divisions.
As chief, Foley, who holds a degree in business administration from California State University Chico, hopes to continue Stewart’s legacy of running a tight and efficient administration, he said.
“My vision pretty simple: that we follow the golden rule in that we don’t provide a level of service less than what we’d expect for ourselves and our loved ones,” Foley said.
Among his goals is strengthening community relations. He plans to widen the resources provided at the and enhance the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving unit by increasing participation in Neighborhood Watch. He also will actively pursue grant opportunities to fund additional school resource officers, he said.
His most aggressive goal, however, is receiving accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, a credentialing authority with internationally recognized best practices for public safety. The three-year process requires internal assessment and will be a step toward excellence and accountability, Foley said.
“It forces a department to do a comprehensive assessment of their operations,” he said. “I think the police department throughout my career has operated efficiently and effectively, but I think it’s time for an independent authority to give us a thorough assessment.”
When Foley takes over on Jan. 1, the structure of the department will also change slightly. The department will combine the three lieutenant and two captain positions and reclassify them as commanders. The move will allow the department to focus on its critical units, such as investigations and community policing, he said.
“It’s a challenging time, but the five commanders are talented,” Foley said. “I’m excited to carry it on.”