Chief Robert W. McNeilly, Jr.

Author and Consultant in Law Enforcement

Administration and Police Management

The Blue Continuum

Blue Continuum’s lessons resonate forcefully in the 2020s, as a discordant national dialog echoes with protests of abusive policing and calls for strict law-and-order policies.

The Blue Continuum: A Police Chief’s Perspective on What’s Wrong with Policing Today and How to Fix It, Robert W. McNeilly, Jr., vividly portrays his rise from patrol officer to respected chief of one of the nation’s largest police bureaus.

But much more than a biography or a case study, Blue Continuum is an operator’s manual for developing and managing effective police forces at any scale. Designed for aspiring or serving chiefs, officers on patrol, and mayors or other elected officials concerned with the almost 18,000 state and local law-enforcement bureaus across the United States, it presents chapter-by-chapter road maps for better, more sustainable law enforcement and public safety.

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About Robert W. McNeilly, jr.

Chief Robert McNeilly, Jr., headed the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police from 1996 until 2006. He’s recognized for leading the department into compliance with a groundbreaking federal decree between 1997 and 2002. Among his successful tactics was a sweeping accountability-and-training program, which included an innovative early-intervention system for troubled officers that’s been called “the gold standard in policing.”

Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske

Pittsburgh Police Chief Bob McNeilly has long been considered a leader in law enforcement. During his tenure at the helm of one of the largest police departments in the nation, he led the department in making progressive changes. Today, those changes in accountability and transparency are considered the gold standard in policing. Chief McNeilly has continued to be a valued voice in police reform and the experiences cited in his book will continue to guide law enforcement executives for years to come.

Charlotte North Carolina Chief Dennis Nowicki

Getting to know Bob by reading of his life experience, that formed his character, explains why he was successful when faced with the difficult task of reaching compliance with a far-ranging Federal consent decree. Pittsburgh was the first city to enter into a federal consent decree, and the first to reach compliance. What makes Bob’s story stand out is how he addressed the challenges, and the successes he had in improving policing in Pittsburgh. A chief who finds themselves facing a consent decree, or an oversight boards mandate for change, can learn from Chief McNeill’s approach in Pittsburgh. Members of a city’s political leadership will see how important their commitment to meaningful change. and support of the chief is to the success.

Chuck Wexler, Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum

McNeilly is one of the most tenacious and driven police reformers I have known. His determination to bring the Pittsburgh Police Department to greater accountability is an important story of what one man can achieve.

City of Pittsburgh Mayor, Tom Murphy

As is always the case with change, controversy and resistance follows. Chief Bob McNeilly brought the Pittsburgh Police Department from the 1960s into the 21st century. His leadership, commitment to integrity and the tactics he developed for modern policing is a roadmap for police and citizens alike who care about good policing.

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