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Norwood Police Chief Bill Brooks retires after 47 years in law enforcement

Norwood Police Bill Brooks reflects on career of service, setting the standard
Norwood Police Bill Brooks reflects on career of service, setting the standard 01:59

NORWOOD - Norwood Police Chief Bill Brooks' life's work in law enforcement began 47 years ago when he was still a senior at Stonehill.

"It is bittersweet. I'm happy. It's also a little sad because I love the job," Brooks said.

And in the blink of an eye, he's finally retiring, reflecting on a career of service, sacrifice, and setting the standard.

"Policing it's not so much how much of it you do, it's how you do what you do," Brooks said.

His leadership is loved and respected in Norwood, for the department's accessibility on social media and visibility around town.

Norwood Police Chief Bill Brooks
Norwood Police Chief Bill Brooks CBS Boston

"They love the foot beats. They love seeing officers on foot patrol. And a lot of departments don't have that. You can accomplish so much more by walking and interacting on foot patrol than you would be driving the car around," he explained.

Over nearly a half century, police work has changed. When he started there were no cellphones, different drugs on the streets, and more pressure to write tickets and make arrests.

"Now it's more about outcomes"

"I said to somebody recently it used to be more about outputs now it's more about outcomes. Reading a report and seeing how an officer handled something and circling back, do those people need further services? Are they going to be OK?" he said.

He's proud he got to pin his son with his shield from 40 years prior... and of his work at the state and federal level.

"Police officers never know what they're going to walk into and people who take this job really are here for the right reasons, with very few exceptions. They're here for the right reason," Brooks said.

Bill Brooks Norwood
Police Chief Bill Brooks speaks with children at the Norwood Common CBS Boston

But this choice to close this chapter came easier, thanks to his faith in the fine men and women he's taught and trained.

"For me to leave the department at a time when our officers are the way that they are and conduct themselves the way that they do. I'm really proud of that," Brooks said.

Chief Brooks' last day is Tuesday April 30. On May 1 Deputy Chief Chris Padden will be sworn in as the 16th chief of police. May 1 is the day the department was established in 1896, and also when Bill Brooks was sworn in twelve years ago.  

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