Metro Alert: How long have you served in your current position?
Chief Daly: I’m in my fourth year as Chief of Springfield Police Department.
Metro Alert:Where did you work before Springfield?
Chief Daly: I spent 39 years with Lower Merion Police Department. Fourteen of those years I served as Chief.
Metro Alert:When did you serve in the military?
Chief Daly: I graduated high school in 1967 and went right into basic training at Paris Island and then Camp Lejeune. I was also trained in Machine Guns and Jungle Warfare.
Metro Alert:Did you serve in any wars?
Chief Daly: I did two tours in Vietnam. The first one was 13 months. Going home was a major culture shock. In just 48 hours, I went from the jungles of Vietnam to Philadelphia. Thirty days later, I returned to Vietnam for another six months.
Metro Alert:Why did you decide to join the military?
Chief Daly: The draft was big in the 1960’s, but I wanted to go and believed that Vietnam was in the forecast for me. I believed the Marine Corps was the best and if I went into battle I wanted to go with the best, so I joined the Marines.
Metro Alert:Can you highlight one or two experiences from your military career that had an influence on where you are today?
Chief Daly: The whole experience changed my outlook. If I had any do-overs, I would do it again. It’s a part of me. It taught me how to hold myself and conduct myself. I’ve been in a uniform since I was 18.
Metro Alert:Why did you decide to become a police officer?
Chief Daly: It’s about service. I totally believe in our country and what it stands for and I believe in standing by our country when it’s good, bad, or indifferent. There were lots of emotions around Vietnam, but I believe it was my duty as a citizen to serve. I believe in defending the Constitution and the right to a free country. It is an honor to be a police officer. I truly love our country and consider myself a patriot.
Metro Alert:What do you like most about being a police officer?
Chief Daly: It is the most self-fulfilling work you can do. Every day your job is to help and serve your community. I believe as a police officer, we are the most visible form of government and we must represent it properly. We are held to higher standards as police officers and we should be.
Metro Alert:How did serving in the military prepare you for your job today?
Chief Daly: The big influence was just the need to continue to serve. In the military, I served with people from all walks of life. We came together, from all different backgrounds and ethnicities, and served as one unit. The military was diverse back then, unlike civilian life, and this really changed my views on life. There was no separation in Vietnam. We were one. The Marine Corps also taught me to lead by example and be in the forefront on everything. If you ask your officers to do something, you should be willing to do it as well. Today, I feel it is essential to make sure my officers have the training and materials they need to be effective on the streets. It is truly about the officers and giving them what they need to get their job done.
Metro Alert:Did you win any awards during your military service?
Chief Daly: I was honored with a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry medal.
Metro Alert: What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Chief Daly: I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife, Donna, was my childhood sweetheart. We have been married 41 years and she really helped me transition when I returned from Vietnam. We have three children (Dennis, Donna and Tracy) and five grandchildren. Dennis served in the Marine Corps as well and is now a police officer in Norwood. I was born and raised in West Philadelphia as one of 11 children. My 92-year old mother has also been a big part of my life. I am also a physical fitness nut. I go to the gym every morning at 3:00 and then head into work. It is important to take care of yourself and set an example.