Addressing the media Tuesday morning outside Brownwood City Council chambers, Terry Nichols described a police chief he’d once worked for as a young night-shift officer.
    The chief’s radio call sign was “100,” and Nichols recalled the times he’d hear “100” on the radio, requesting to meet with the on-duty sergeant.    With previous chiefs, Nichols said, “that could not mean anything good. That was not a good sign.”
    But this chief liked to drive the streets with the sergeant and wanted to get to know the city, because “he enjoyed being a cop,” Nichols said.
    “That’s me,” Nichols said. “That’s the kind of chief I’ll be. I like putting on a uniform, going out, working the street.”
    Polite, complaisant and unpretentious, Nichols seemed the antithesis of an alpha-wolf commander when he greeted the media and well-wishers, minutes after council members confirmed City Manager Emily Crawford’s selection of him as the next police chief.
    But Nichols could instantly recite some of his early plans. He will alternate between wearing a uniform and a suit; he will take the physical agility test that police applicants must pass; he will attend the same in-service training as his officers; he will qualify with his weapon on the firing range.
    “I will be a working chief — absolutely,” Nichols said. “ … Because it starts at the top.”
    Nichols also said he plans on working very closely with the sheriff’s office and other local law enforcement agencies, and was scheduled to meet with Chief Deputy Vance Hill later Tuesday.
    “I look forward to our relationship and building a solid relationship with the sheriff’s office and all local law enforcement,” Nichols said.
    Before speaking with the media, Nichols addressed a group of officers who stood near him outside council chambers. He congratulated officer Jesse Mares, who was recently promoted to corporal and named the department’s officer of the year.
    “Thank you all for being here today,” Nichols said. “It means a lot to me as chief. … You took time out of your day to come in and see this. I’m absolutely honored to be here.
    “I’ve done a lot of research into the agency and have a lot to learn, and I look forward to meeting every one of you and being part of our team. I could not be more humbled to be here. … The kind words that the council and the city manager said about me — I didn’t do all that stuff by myself. …We’re going to be a great team. I wish I could start tomorrow.”
    Addressing the media, Nichols said he’s got some “big shoes to fill” in outgoing Chief Mike Corley, who retires June 22.
    He said he applied for the job as Brownwood police chief when he saw the job description and understood what was expected of the next chief. Collaboration, training, team-building, outside thinking — “that’s all the stuff that made me successful in my career at San Marcos,” Nichols said.
    “I felt like what they were looking for was the skill set that I had developed over my career.”
    Nichols said it will be his responsibility as chief to “check the barometer of the agency and meet with each individual officer one-on-one, and find out, what do I need to know as chief.”