After almost a year as the interim and then part-time Rollingwood Police Chief, Max Westbrook said it is time to move on.
Westbrook’s last official day will be Sept. 16, and Rollingwood City Council had the matter of his resignation on its special meeting agenda Sept. 6.
Rollingwood City Administrator Amber Lewis said that though no action was taken Thursday, as assistant chief, Kristal Pompa will become interim chief while council searches for a new candidate.
“Approval will be sought by council to appoint Pompa interim chief on Wednesday, Sept. 12, as well as discuss a plan of action to search for a permanent candidate,” Lewis said. “[Westbrook] did an excellent job, and we’re really proud of having him serve.”
Lewis said one of the initiatives Westbrook spearheaded that she is most impressed with involves an upgraded policies and procedures manual for the police department.
Council approved the upgrade Thursday with an amendment giving City Council final authority to modify policy within the manual. Initial language stated that only the chief of police could modify policy.
“It really brings the level of professionalism to the department that we didn’t have before,” Lewis said, adding that Westbrook has been working on the manual since October 2017.
From personnel development to the creation of a new police policy and procedure manual to an upgrade of RPD’s property and evidence system, Westbrook said he and his department have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.
Another initiative Lewis mentioned is the “Every Street Every Day” program that sought to create more of of a police presence in Rollingwood by having officers drive every city street every day. Lewis said Westbrook implemented the program in October.
Westbrook said the city asked him to take over the position following former Police Chief Dayne Prior’s October 2017 retirement.
The request had much to do with the business he owns called Max Westbrook Consulting Corp., through which he conducts outside internal affairs investigations, selection and recruiting of new police chiefs and government officials, and organizational audits primarily for police departments, he said.
Westbrook said that while he has enjoyed his role with RPD, he wants to get back to projects he has been having to put on the back burner during his time as chief of police.
“I think some people are getting confused about me leaving because I just took the job, but the intent was never for this to be permanent.” he said.
Alderman Gavin Massingill said that he and Westbrook are neighbors, and that the Rollingwood community has been fortunate to have his expertise in a time of need.
“We look forward to to seeing our police department fully implement the best practices he has put in place, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” Massingill said. “He can now go back to just being a great neighbor.”
Westbrook said that the RPD is in good hands while Pompa serves as RPD’s interim chief.
“She just does an amazing job, and I am very proud and honored to work with her,” he said.
For her part, Pompa said she is looking forward to the challenge of being interim police chief while officials search for a permanent replacement.
“I think it’s going to be great,” she said.