What I Learned When I Listened to My Officers

Improving Police

Eight years into my career with Madison, I requested a six-month leave of absence without pay. I was tired and everyone around me knew it.

When the press I asked why I requested a leave, I said it was to write a book… But others around me knew otherwise. The speculation was that I was done. An anonymous source within the police department was quoted as saying,

“Couper won’t be back. He has talked a lot about teaching and writing, and I don’t think he’ll be back.”[1]

A day later I had to defend my request to inquiring reporters.

“After eight years, I think six months is a reasonable rest for a police chief in Madison… It’s a question of whether the people of Madison want a police chief with a heart attack, a police chief with a lot of other problems. I need this rest to be more creative…

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