COLUMBUS, Neb. – As Columbus Police Chief Charles ‘Chuck’ Sherer steps into his position, he is mending an old motto from his first job to fit his new role.
“The military police motto was ‘of the troops, for the troops and by the troops.’ So I changed that just slightly to say ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’,” says Sherer.
Sherer, who has nearly 40 years of law enforcement experience, has been a captain in the CPD for 20 years, serving both the support and patrol division.
The years in Columbus, plus over a decade of service as Schuyler Police Chief in the 1980’s and 1990’s, as well as graduating from the FBI Academy two years ago, made Sherer an obvious choice for the job, that he was officially named to this week.
Chief Sherer will be asking the entire staff to pursue three goals: making themselves a better person and officer, making the department better as a whole and making the community a better place to live.
For the latter, he wants the staff, which includes himself, to find “a niche in the community,” whether it be joining a church group, athletic organization, Boy Scouts or whatever else they’re passionate about.
“Something that gives back to the community, so they can see these officers both on the job in the uniform and outside the job, being a part of the community,” says Sherer.
The CPD has wrestled with staffing for a while now. The process to hire an officer is an arduous one and that has left the number of officers dwindling lower than Sherer, or anybody at the department would like.
“These guys have been working long hours, fewer days off, so when you do that for an extended period of time, morale tends to suffer,” says Sherer.
The new chief takes repairing the low morale as one of his first challenges on the job.
Sherer replaces William Gumm, who retired from the department after serving over 20 years as chief.