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A police leader’s wishlist for 2024

We asked police chiefs what big purchase they would make for their department if they knew the budget would be approved

Spiral notebook on Laptop with blank Wishlist

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In law enforcement, budget constraints are a significant challenge faced by agencies striving to maintain high standards of safety and effectiveness. The desire for state-of-the-art equipment and resources is often hampered by tight financial limitations.

In this context, Police1’s “Leadership Beat” column asked current police chiefs: if budgetary restrictions were not a concern and approval for funding was guaranteed, what significant purchase would they choose to make for their department?

Here’s what they said:

- A new police headquarters to replace ours which is nearing 75 years in age. — Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama

- A comprehensive wellness plan, including technology to track individuals’ activity and progress as well as funding for additional training facilities, physical fitness time and various health programs. — New Mexico State Police Chief W. Troy Weisler

- Additional staffing, because it would allow for more safety services for the community and flexibility for our officers to take additional time to enjoy their lives outside of work. — Wright State University Public Safety Chief Kurt Holden

- Officer wellness opportunities and training equipment. — University Circle Police Department Chief Tom Wetzel

- A new police station to help with recruitment and retention. Evanston Police Department Schenita Stewart

- It would absolutely be staffing: appropriate staffing is the nexus to officer health, happiness, safety, clear thinking, good decision-making and professional public service. — City of North St. Paul Chief Phil Baebenroth

- I would purchase healthy daily meals for my department members because healthy eating encourages healthy lifestyles. — Oceanside Police Chief Kedrick Sadler

- Patrol vehicle replacement. — Greensboro Police Department Chief George Paugh

- Realizing healthy employees are key to providing high-level professional service, I would fund a wellness and training center for our staff, which would include classrooms, individual relaxation/recovery (restorative rest areas), a private area for mental health check-ins, a chef to prepare healthy meals and a study/training area. — Fremont Police Chief Sean Washington

- If I had one budget request, it would be for a new headquarters. — Pocatello Police Chief Roger Schei

If money was no object, what one item would you like your agency to purchase? Email