Catching up with Our Police Chief

| October 24, 2012 | 1 Comment

by Jenny Chissus

Shad wanted to an opportunity to thank the city and community for all their support!

It is coming up on a year since Shad Haller accepted the position as Police Chief of Seldovia and he truly wanted to express his appreciation for a great first year!  This has been a rewarding year of learning and it has been a huge encouragement to have all the positive back up from friends, family and the entire community!  So thank you!

The last time we talked, Shad was heading off to the Alaska State Trooper’s Academy in Sitka, so I wanted to find out how that went!    “It was 16 weeks of very intense training, both physically and mentally.  It was exhausting!   It was very good, I learned a ton!  I was shot, tazed, drowned, sprayed, maced, etc.  This was a process that left many welts, marks, and bruises – which helps you to appreciate the amount of the pain you are inflicting on another human being if every you need to use force.    This experience made me very aware of my surroundings in a way I had never experienced before – it was truly eye-opening.  It showcased the impact and importance of this position, and took my perspective of this job to a whole new level of intensity!”

From his experience at the academy, he mentioned that his “high” was graduation, as it was one of the most difficult things he’s ever done!   He was the oldest officer in the program – by about 10 years.  Definitely, this was one of the greatest challenges in his life thus far, and he is very proud of the accomplishment.   The “low” was an injury to his shoulder on just the second week in – which made the physical challenges that much more difficult.  Unfortunately, he will have to have surgery in the next few months.  “One enlightening thing was that the academy puts you in many very stressful situations that test your limits, helping you to discover your threshold of fear, pain or stamina.  I was reinvigorated, knowing that I  want to do this for Seldovia, to keep people safe.  It gave me a healthy understanding of many of the dangers that are out there – knowing all the information opens your eyes to the problems around.”

What do you feel is your biggest challenge in Seldovia?  “I’m not trying to go out there and find people who are breaking the law.  I am here to enforce the law, keep the peace and keep everyone and their property safe!  I’m not here to be the big bully bad guy.  Seldovia is a great community who polices themselves pretty well!  My hope is that folks will voluntarily comply with the law, but when they don’t,  I’m there.”

I talked with Shad a little about going out to domestic disputes and other potentially dangerous situations, and what his plan is for maintaining a safe position.  As it stands right now, he is the only trained officer, and bringing anyone else puts an untrained individual at risk – which is never good.  We once had two police in town, and it really was helpful – besides back-up, this allowed each to have some “time off”.    Obviously, not just physical time off, but mental time off too!  This job is all-consuming and very stressful, not just on a call, but being available 24/7, and though Dan Blodgett is our deputy, he is not in town right now.

Do you feel that you have support in seeking additional funding for another back-up deputy or police?  “I definitely think that we can get support from the city, in fact I have spoken recently with the city manager about this very thing!  The trick is of course, besides funding, is to find someone willing to do the job, and someone available to go through the training!”  I think that we as a community can agree with Shad – that truly, in any situation you want to have someone who has your back – you just never know when a call will require more support.    It was good to hear that we as a city are working towards that extra position.

One thing that Shad wanted to let everyone know is that he does have authority to manage any problems all the way to the end of Jakolof Bay Road.  He has the obligation and authority to patrol this whole area, as it is all within his jurisdiction.   He is also DUI  testing certified, which means that he is state certified to handle the breathalyzer, and has the training to administer that test.

His biggest mission is to help as many people as possible, and he is asking the public to let him know right away if there is a problem!  If you see anything that shouldn’t be happening, call him!  The police department number 234-7640 goes directly to his cell phone.

He did express that it is essential that we call 911 if we are (or someone else is) in danger or a life and death situation.  The dispatchers from Homer will call him right away and then dispatch any emergency or fire crew – so that he, as the police chief isn’t having to make those additional calls.  Calling 911 also alerts the troopers that we have an emergency situation here in Seldovia, and the official emergency system is activated – making sure all the appropriate services are notified to handle the issue, and we get all the support necessary for a safe outcome.

Like our previous police chief, Andy Anderson used to say: ” Crime in Seldovia? Of course there’s no crime in Seldovia – that would be against the law!”    Andy was a great chief for Seldovia, Shad has big shoes to fill – but we think he’s doing a fabulous job!

Lucky for us, day or night, Shad is here to respond to the safety concerns of our community.  Thank you Shad for your willingness to serve our community!  Also, I want to offer a HUGE shout out to his wife Tiffany, and their 4 children who obviously are giving a lot to support Shad in this position, as it directly affects them on a daily basis – so THANK YOU HALLER FAMILY!

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Category: Business

Comments (1)

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  1. Sandi Hansen says:

    What a great article, about a great town and a great man! I have a lot of respect for Shad and wish him the very best!

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