WILLCOX — A familiar face was hired permanently as Willcox police chief last Tuesday afternoon.
Chief Dale Hadfield had been working for the Willcox Police Department as an interim director, but with the positive response from the community and community leaders, Hadfield has been hired as the permanent police chief. Working within the Willcox Police Department since 2006, Hadfield was promoted to sergeant in 2014. When Chief Jose Rios retired, Hadfield was appointed as interim director by Willcox City Manager Caleb Blaschke.
“I’m absolutely floored and honored to be given the opportunity to serve the Willcox community continually,” Hadfield said. “It’s been very surreal. It’s a great honor. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of support that the community has provided, and I thank the good Lord for the great community that I work with.”
Hadfield told the Range News that over the next few months, he intends to apply for multiple grants geared toward community interaction. He also said he wants to reach out to youth and restart the youth ride-along program. The program is for children ages 13 and up who are interested in police work, who can ride with a police officer in their unit. Hadfield also told the Range News he hopes to get his officers into more community action, breaking them out of the “iron coffins” of their patrol units so they can play basketball with youths and break free of the negative stigma that frequently haunts police officers.
“My focus right now is to get back to grass roots with a lot of community action,” Hadfield said. “As of right now, we’ve got absolute great community support.”
“He has great reviews from his staff, he has the confidence of his staff, and he had great reviews from the public as well. I know that we talked with a variety of different leaders within the community, and they all expressed confidence in Dale and his abilities. I’ve enjoyed working with him since September,” Blaschke said. “There’s a lot of good ideas he’s bringing to the table and things he’s wanting to implement. There are things that he wants to do, from playing basketball with youth in the community to purchasing body cams.”
Hadfield’s promotion ceremony will be at the Willcox City Council meeting on April 18, 2019, at 6:30 p.m.