Police Chief Works Thanksgiving Day, Giving Officer Day Off

Last year I told you about Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Bryan Roach and his annual tradition of working holidays in the place of patrol officers. Roach joined the department in 1991 and was the assistant Chief before being named the Chief January 2017. I tell his story in every Courageous Leadership Seminar and the audience is amazed and I am amazed for a very different reason.

Why is the story of this selfless, servant minded police chief a unique one? Why is it such a big deal to tell his story? So much so, I’m telling it again this year?

Chief Roach worked this Thanksgiving and according to IMPDNews, “every Thanksgiving he works patrol so that another officer can have the day off to be with family. This year, he took the place of an officer on North District Day Shift and patrolled the Broad Ripple area.”

Chief Roach at squad meeting prior to his Thanksgiving Shift. Photo courtesy: IMPD News.

I don’t know why this behavior is so rare in law enforcement but I have spoken to many that are working towards changing it. For now, I am grateful that Chief Roach and a few others are setting an example for all and if anything, that gives me hope that leadership in the finest profession on the planet will continue to improve.

An IMPD Officer posted this Christmas 2018 when Chief Roach worked.

Some of my favorite “Courageous Leader” examples include Chief Tim Barfield and Green Bay Chief Andrew Smith. If what you read sounds simple, it is. But simple doesn’t mean that the majority of our police leaders are doing it. The time is now for change.


Travis Yates is the founder of the Courageous Leadership Institute.  Find out how to become a Courageous Leader here.

What others are saying about “Courageous Leadership For Law Enforcement”

“This class is absolutely outstanding.”  Nathan Mendes, California Narcotics Officers Association

“This class should be required for every single police officer in America.” Officer Jason Cummings, Claremore PD

“In my 12 year career, this was the best class I have ever taken on leadership.”  Sergeant Josh Johnson

“The best presentation I have had in over 22 years in law enforcement.”  Sgt. Michael Huber, McMinnville (OR) Police Department

“This is some of the best training I have attended in over 40 years of law enforcement.”
Scott Johnson, Chief of Police – Grand Rapids (MN) Police Department  

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