To The Editor:
In my life I have been blessed to work with exceptional law enforcement professionals at the federal, state and local levels. In no uncertain terms, the absolute finest I have had the privilege of working with is James Wardwell.
So much has deservedly been said about our chief in the months since his retirement was announced.
But there is something I want to make very clear: His success in leading a diverse and dynamic department of professionals during a nationally tumultuous period between law enforcement and the communities they protect is not only due to his abilities as a police officer (though they are varied and outstanding), rather it is due to his quality as a human being.
Jim Wardwell has a heart so much larger than himself, and it is that heart - that goodness -that has defined him, personally and professionally.
When I was leaving city service, among those that I wanted to tell face to face was the chief because he is such a critical part of the operation of this city and my time here.
As I sat in his office, he opened his desk drawer, took out an NBPD shoulder patch and gave it to me.
I knew that I’d never be worthy of the honor of wearing it, but I keep it on my desk every day to remind me of the quality of the man who gave it to me, and the quality of the department he led.
Chief John J. Healey