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IACP Icon and Long-Time Police Chief Editor Retires

Charlie Higginbotham, Long-Time Police
Chief Editor

After 45 years, Charles Higginbotham is stepping down from his post as Police Chief editor and IACP Conference director. As the longest-serving IACP employee in the organization’s history, Charlie leaves a valuable legacy in these two programs and in the innumerable staff and members he has mentored and befriended over the years. His contribution to the IACP is not something that can be measured easily, and we look forward to paying tribute through the success of the projects he has put his heart and soul into. As always, though, Charlie says it best, and so we celebrate his retirement with the wisdom he shared with us at the IACP:

There is an old adage that you never work a day in your life when you like what you do. I cherished and enjoyed every day at IACP, and the days never felt like work; rather the days were living out a dream. I had a high school guidance counselor who told me I had to find a job where I could write while helping others. I feel this prophecy came true at IACP.

During my tenure at IACP, there were several challenges. Each time a challenge was presented, the association’s staff, leadership, and membership met the challenge and moved the association forward. As I am leaving, it is rewarding to know that the association is on solid ground.

I also feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to meet and listen to the innovators, pioneers, and legends of today’s policing. It was a privilege to observe their work and engage in discussions. It is with a sense of pride that the current IACP staff is capable to continue enabling the work of today’s innovators and that these innovators look to IACP as their resource. I know the future is bright for the IACP.

In my 45 years at IACP, I have had the opportunity to work on many different projects and activities. My two highest profile responsibilities have been the Police Chief magazine where I served as editor for 30 years and the annual conference where I served as director for 19 years. The success of these two activities is credited to the IACP staff stepping up and serving as guest editors, writing columns, finding authors, reviewing manuscripts and proofreading, making workshop presentations, and staffing the many jobs to hold the annual conference.

Not to be overlooked is the IACP membership. I had the opportunity to work with many professional survey/opinion poll companies. When we discussed the projected response to the polls, I always said–don’t worry, IACP members will tell us what they think. The survey professionals were always surprised at the outstanding number of responses and the quality of comments received.

The IACP leadership trusts the staff to develop new ideas and to establish the means to translate these concepts to practice in the field. The leadership also knows that the staff are good stewards of the association’s resources. By carefully managing these resources the association will continue to strive.

In closing, I wanted you to know how much I appreciated our time together. This is not the end, only a new chapter.

We hope that all of our readers and members will join us in wishing Charlie the best in his retirement! ♦


From The Police Chief, vol. LXXXI, no. 4, April 2014. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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