Mesquite police chief chosen for international leadership award

ST. GEORGE — Mesquite Police Chief MaQuade Chesley was chosen as one of 40 recipients of the “40 Under 40” award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the department announced Tuesday.

Mesquite Police Chief MaQuade Chesley recieves prestigious international award, Mesquite, Nevada, September 5, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Mesquite Police Department

The “40 Under 40”  award program is designed to recognize individuals in law enforcement under the age of 40 who embody excellence within the field and demonstrate strong leadership and commitment to their profession. 

Chesley was chosen from a wide pool of candidates from seven countries, including the United States, Canada, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, India and the Solomon Islands. There are more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies and nearly 423,000 police officers in the U.S. alone, according to a 2017 FBI report and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. 

The chief will be honored at a banquet during the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago at the end of October, and he will also be featured in the September 2019 issue of Police Chief Magazine. 

Chesley told St. George News he was surprised when he received a call from the organization with the news he was selected, and said “I was amazed that I was nominated in the first place, so when I got the call it was pretty amazing and exciting.”

Chesley also joins 39 other awardees selected from police departments in New Jersey, Kentucky, United Arab Emirates, Alabama, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, to name a few. 

Sgt. Chad Ray from the Lehi City Police Department was also selected for the honor.

From the start of Chesley’s police career in 2005, he has served in many positions within the department but his favorite was serving in the detective division because of the many challenges he faced as he “took each case and ran with it,” he said. 

He was sworn in as Mesquite’s Police Chief in February, after Troy Tanner retired, and is the youngest police chief in the department’s history. 

He has several goals to fulfill as police chief, he said, one of which is to update the law enforcement culture to meet today’s standards by focusing on professionalism within the department and to work on the relationship between the community and the police.

L-R: Former Mesquite Police Chief Troy Tanner stands by then interim police chief Capt. MaQuade Chesley during Tanner’s retirement party, Mesquite, Nev., Jan. 22, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Mesquite Police Department, St. George News

Chesley says improving those relationships will lessen the dehumanization that many officers are faced with and the only way to do that is to connect with the community.

“We are fathers, husbands and brothers, we have kids and we even made dance videos — we are human too,” Chesley said.

Chesley also told St. George News he is a “Xennial” as he was born on the cusp of Generation X and the millennials, an age which can allow him to “bridge the gap” between generations.

“These new young officers coming in are fantastic,” he said, adding they are very well rounded and Renaissance-type — they are very clever and adept at many things.

His decision to become a police officer was born from spending two years in a lawless environment outside of the United States which is where he discovered the impact that lawlessness can have on society.

“Never feeling safe or protected is a horrible feeling,” he said.

When he returned to the United States he earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and in 2005 he started with the St. George Police Department, which he said “was a fantastic department to work for.” Two years later he relocated to Mesquite and was hired by the Mesquite Police Department, where he has remained ever since.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is the world’s largest and most influential professional association for police leaders. With more than 30,000 members in 150 countries, the association has been serving communities worldwide by speaking out on behalf of law enforcement and advancing leadership and professionalism in policing for more than 100 years.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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