Salute the Badge: Overbrook Police Chief guides officers to serve with the value of showing respect to everyone

Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 8:56 PM CDT
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Terry Hollingsworth describes himself as 'blessed' to have served and learned from six police chiefs during his 25 years in law enforcement.

When he became Overbrook's Chief of Police in 2014, he emphasized a simple philosophy to his officers.

"Quite often when we deal with people, it's on their worst day and if you keep that in mind that what we're trying to do is show them respect and that we're here actually to help we're not here to be judges."

For Hollingsworth, getting to that point on patrol starts at each new day.

"You have to check your ego at the door."

During parts of his shift, Chief, as he's known to the city, uses the door to connect to residents.

"One of the first things I did when I became chief make it to where I try to be approachable and so we have an open door policy here"

He said the policy pays off when thinking about Overbrook’s strong relationship with its police department.

"This community is different from every other community that I've ever been in, the people here are real and they will help you without ever asking," he said. "But if they feel comfortable to come up to me and just to tell me about their day and their life it's pretty awesome that people feel comfortable enough to come up to me and do that"

Chief Hollingsworth has a simple message for officers across the country and the communities served.

"I think it all comes back to if you treat people with respect treat them how you want to be treated and most of the time that compassion comes across," he said.

"For the community, people that we serve just keep in mind that we're not robots we are people just like you and we hurt just like you and we feel bad just like you we have emotions.”

Hollingsworth said the "realness" of the relationship with the Overbrook Community that makes him want to serve the rest of his career in the city.