Mayor Rick Sollars kept is 2017 Inaugural Ceremony keynote speech short and sweet – but he had a surprise at the end. In front of over 200 people including a large contingent of Taylor police November 14 at the Lakes of Taylor, the mayor named John Blair the City’s newest police chief.
"We did a wide, in-depth search to find a new police chief and deputy chief,” Mayor Sollars said. “But as it turned out, we had the best people for the job right here in our own department. I couldn’t be happier.”
The search committee spent months going through candidates for the position, some of which were from departments with as many as 3,000 employees. Blair had been acting chief since July 2017. Like those before him, Chief Blair is a longtime member of the force and was an executive commander before being named acting chief. He started his career with the department in 1991, and worked various assignments including road patrol, SWAT, field training officer, firearms instructor, investigations, special operations and traffic division. He has also served in a supervisory position as a road patrol, K-9 and special operations sergeant and lieutenant of the traffic division, and commander of the patrol division, firearm training unit, traffic division and special support services section.
Acting Chief Blair was selected twice as the Department’s Officer of the Year (1999 and 2008) and the Police Officer Association of Michigan Officer of the Year in 2008.
He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Police School of Staff and Command. He has been a MCOLES certified firearm instructor since 1997 as well a State of Michigan certified Concealed Pistol License instructor since 2002. He has also served as program director of two Federal Cooperative Agreements with the Federal Highway Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.