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Green Bay Police Chief Chris Davis looks back at first year since being sworn in

Posted at 11:59 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 01:25:45-04

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — Green Bay Chief of Police Chris Davis has hit the one-year mark as the department's top cop.

Davis says how officers do their work starts at the top.

"If I expect them to go out and listen to people and treat them fairly, and have good motives, and treat people with compassion, then I have to do all of those things in how we treat the people who work here," Davis said.

Davis is going into year two as Green Bay police's top cop.

Davis says the department has and continues to encounter several public safety issues.

"Not the least of which has been gun violence," Davis said.

But Davis says he has been impressed with how well his officers have come together to address the issue.

The chief referenced a night last December where the city had seven different shots fired incidents.

"The whole organization just mobilized," Davis said.

Davis says a growing problem in the city is property crime, including burglaries, catalytic converter thefts, and retail thefts.

According to police data, so far this year, there have been 1,112 thefts in the city. That's up from 860 total all of last year, a 29 percent increase.

"We have to think of something else that's actually going to solve that problem," Davis said. "And you know, they've come up with some really innovative ideas, which obviously I don't want to give away all our secrets."

Davis says drug overdoses, particularly involving fentanyl, is another emerging and significant problem.

Green Bay resident Christopher Zahn says he's noticed issues with mental health in the city.

"It's not the chief's fault," Zahn said. "I mean, it's a city issue."

"How do you think he (Davis) has done as the department's top cop?," reporter Tyler Job asked.

"Overall, he's did excellent," Zahn replied. "At first, I had my reservations because he wasn't from the community."

But Davis is here now, and officers are continuing to find ways of getting involved in the community despite a staffing shortage of about six to eight officers.

And the chief realizes just how valuable community engagement is.

"It's one thing for a police officer to show up in a crisis situation when they don't know anybody involved," Davis said. "It's a very different thing when they know everyone involved and there's some trust there."

Davis began his career in policing at the Arizona State University Police Department in 1994.

From 1998 to 2021, Davis served in a variety of roles at the Portland Police Bureau in Oregon.

Davis was sworn in as Green Bay's police chief on Sept. 16 of last year.