Board of Fire and Police Commissioners intend to reappoint Copley for another three-year term

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Rob Copley, Quincy police chief | Photo courtesy of Quincy Police Department

QUINCY — The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners has informed the Quincy City Council of its intention to reappoint Rob Copley as chief of the Quincy Police Department for a three-year term.

Copley has been with the Police Department since 1980 and has been police chief since 2004. His last three-year reappointment was in August 2019.

“(Copley) is due for reappointment effective May 1, so we as the (fire and police) commission have to notify the mayor and the council of our intention to reappoint either the police or fire chief at least four months prior to his effective date,” said Barry Cheyne, one of the three commissioners.

“The month of December is the timing on that. We signed the document at our last meeting and put it on the agenda for the council to acknowledge on Monday hopefully.”

Municipal codebook calls for commissioners to give notice four months in advance

The city’s municipal codebook says the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners must give, at least four months before the term for a police chief or fire chief expires, notice to the chief and the City Council of its decision to either renew or not renew the appointment. The ordinance, which previously called for five-year terms, was changed in 2017.

Aldermen have no legal reason to vote on the reappointment, but they often vote to confirm it anyway.

Copley told Muddy River News in September he has not set a firm date for his retirement from 41 years of service to the Quincy Police Department.

“Well, it’s been in the (other) media, but it’s news to me,” Copley said at the time. “I have had conversations with various people that I do plan to (retire) next year, and my term would be up in May, but I have made no firm decision. My family would be the first to know.”

Asked for comment about the commissioners’ plan to reappoint him for a three-year term, Copley declined. He said he prefers to wait until Monday’s City Council meeting to say anything.

Copley would complete his 18th year as police chief at the end of May. 

Cheyne: ‘That’s (Copley’s) call to make and say when and if (retirement) happens’

“Retirement is not our purview,” Cheyne said. “Certainly Chief Copley his retirement eligible. That’s his call to make and say when and if that happens. Our job is to gather all the details based on performance and suitability and service to the city of Quincy, and Rob certainly exceeds all those criteria, has in the past and continues to do so. So we’re more than comfortable to recommend him for the reappointment. 

“Anything past that would be his call.”

Copley replaced Michael DeVoss in June 2004 as the police chief. The Fire and Police Commission selected him over two other finalists — Deputy Chief Harry Cramer and Lt. Dennis Bingheim.

He started as a patrol officer, then was named a youth investigator. Copley was promoted to sergeant and the Youth Unit supervisor in June 1996. He was promoted to lieutenant two years later and returned to the patrol force as evening shift commander.

Mayor Mike Troup expressed dissatisfaction with Copley’s performance during an Oct. 4 meeting with the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners — Cheyne, Kerry Anders and Steve Meckes. Troup called Copley’s annual report to aldermen in September “misleading” and believes there’s a “lack of performance” in regard to Copley

Troup told the commissioners at that meeting he would come to an Oct. 6 to file a complaint against Copley. However, Troup has not filed a complaint to date with the commissioners.

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