When Will Rogers started out as a Carlisle police officer in 1978, he once thought “someday it might be nice to be the chief here.”
A couple of weeks ago, he was sworn in as the village’s top cop.
“It feels like this is where I am supposed to be,” Rogers said. “I’m glad to be home. This is where I started. They gave me a chance. Now I have an opportunity to return the thanks.”
Since his swearing in, Rogers said he has been getting acclimated to the village and is still meeting people in the community and has plans to meet with the Carlisle schools superintendent next week.
He said that “I really appreciate that Carlisle has given me the opportunity to come back. Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful to me.”
Rogers, a 1975 graduate of Carlisle High School, said he would like to take the skills he’s learned during his career with the Middletown police and with Atrium Medical Center’s campus police and apply them to the Carlisle department.
Public service runs deep in the Rogers family. His father, Ralph, was a Carlisle auxiliary officer and a Middletown police reserve. His son, Ryan, is a Middletown police officer.
Rogers described himself as “loyal.”
“If you are loyal, you are honest, you’re truthful, you’re dedicated and you’re willing to do whatever you need to do whatever its takes to help those around you,” he said.
Rogers said the village is growing and the police department will have to grow with it. Eventually that will require some expertise such as adding a detective to help solve crimes, he said.
“I want us to be a proactive agency and a community-oriented agency,” he said. “Care, welfare, safety and security. It’s something that is easily adapted for law enforcement to deal with the community.”
Rogers said he wants to offer his officers (there are seven officers and one reserve officer) the ability to obtain more training that is a “job satisfaction perk” so that they are more competent and have additional skills to serve the community.
“The more opportunities you have to learn, the better you are,” he said.
Rogers said he is looking at a proposal to change the work shifts from eight hours, five days a week to 10 hours, four days a week. He can’t give officers more money but work schedules can be adjusted to help the officers.
Rogers said he prides himself as an “outside-the-box thinker” and hopes to find other ways to retain officers by being creative by being finding other ways such as including them on what’s going on, having the feeling that they matter in decisions being made, giving them opportunities to grow and learn. He feels supervisors also need to help train people to become better and move up the career ladder.
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