New Dewey police chief brings energy, transparency to role

May 19, 2023

According to Dewey Beach Town Manager Bill Zolper, a new feeling of esprit de corps has energized the police department since Chief Constance Speake’s arrival, and it shows.

Since her first day Jan. 20, Speake’s willingness to proactively address issues and improve community policing efforts has resulted in a number of positive developments, not to mention an about-face from those who initially resisted her hire.

Not content to accept an influx of violent activity as an annual occurrence each spring, Speake is working with state and local law enforcement offices to identify dangerous individuals, and enact measures to punish violators and keep them out of town.

Once-fraught relationships with partnering agencies have been revitalized under her leadership, resulting in increased police presence and protection for residents and visitors.

By awarding a series of recent promotions, Speake has recognized the contributions of longtime officers in actions that also ensure the town has trained, supervisory coverage at all times. 

To increase visibility and approachability, Speake has determined that all police vehicles will be marked and officers will wear distinct navy-blue uniforms. Look for officers to be mounted on bicycles this summer for faster response times.

Moreover, Speake has vowed to tackle all of the deficient findings detailed in a 2019 organizational analysis of the department. One by one, she’s chipping away at that list.

And finally, Speake’s transparency is a breath of fresh air. Openly discussing safety and security concerns, as she did in a meet-and-greet hosted by the Dewey Beach Civic League May 6, is the surest way to create solutions and build trust within a community.

Dewey Beach is fortunate to have Chief Constance Speake overseeing law and order. Her honesty, fortitude and professionalism set the tone required for those sworn with the duty to protect and serve the people of our communities.

  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

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