Letter to the Editor: Cheyne’s reappointment is well-deserved and in city’s best interest

Barry Cheyne

Barry Cheyne

I write to express my sincere support for the reappointment of Barry Cheyne to the Quincy Board of Fire and Police Commission.  

In his recent letter to Mayor Troup, Mr. Cheyne formally requested reappointment when his term concludes in February 2024. It is my firm belief that Mayor Troup should rise above any personal differences or political considerations and promptly reappoint Mr. Cheyne to this critical position.

Having had the privilege of serving alongside Mr. Cheyne on the board for a substantial nine-year period, I can attest to his exceptional character and unwavering work ethic.  His dedication to the city, coupled with his extensive service to both the fire and police departments, has equipped him with an in-depth understanding of Illinois statutes, the City of Quincy Municipal Code and the rules and regulations governing the board.

Mr. Cheyne has fostered invaluable relationships with key stakeholders, including fire and police department leadership, officers within both departments and members of the City Council.  His track record on the board speaks volumes about his commitment and effectiveness:

  • Updated Standards:  Mr. Cheyne successfully spearheaded the revision of the Board of Fire and Police Commission’s city ordinance and rules and regulations.
  • Non-political Approach:  He consistently acted in a non-political manner concerning appointments, promotions, and other personnel actions involving leadership within the fire and police departments.
  • Leadership: Serving as the board chair for six years, Mr. Cheyne has demonstrated exemplary leadership.
  • Advocacy: He advocated for the expansion of the approved residency area for public safety personnel.  He also established a policy and procedure for lateral police officer hires to offset a critical staffing shortage within our police department.
  • Personnel/Recruitment: Mr. Cheyne led the effort to fill all open positions within the fire and police departments, resulting in the hiring of 64 police officers and 21 firefighters. As of December 2023, both departments are fully staffed through his leadership and screening process.
  • Chief Recruiting Processes:  He established highly effective recruiting processes resulting in the appointment of the fire chief and police chief, both of whom have proven to be outstanding leaders.
  • Community Engagement: Mr. Cheyne routinely engages with the community by providing informational briefings to citizen police academies, local citizen groups and participates in in fire and police training ceremonies and swearing in new firefighters and police officers.

By every measure, Mr. Cheyne has exceeded expectations and played a pivotal role in maintaining the cohesion of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. Believe me, the learning curve to effectively perform the responsibilities of this critical position should not be taken for granted. His reappointment is not only well-deserved but also in the best interest of the City of Quincy.  

I strongly urge Troup to recognize Mr. Cheyne’s invaluable contributions and promptly reappoint him to ensure the continued effective governance of the Board.

Steve Meckes
Former Board of Fire and Police Commission Board Member
Quincy, Ill.

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