Following the retirement of Brady Mills, ISRI named former police chief Todd Foreman as its new Director of Law Enforcement Outreach. Foreman has been in law enforcement for almost three decades, and most recently served as Chief of Police for the Bedford, Va., Police Department. Foreman was generous enough to sit down with Scrap News and discuss his background, what brought him to ISRI, and what he’s looking forward to accomplishing in his role.

Tell us about your background.

I joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1983. In 1985, I received a scholarship from Liberty University, which I accepted. While attending Liberty, I joined the Virginia Army National Guard, and I also met my future wife. I wanted to work so that my wife could finish her degree, so I left school and worked in retail before transitioning to work for a state prison as a corrections officer and eventually the corrections sergeant. Working for a state prison was a good stepping stone to law enforcement, and I’m really glad I did it. When you work in a prison, you don’t have all the tools around your belt that a police officer does, so you really have to learn how to communicate with people to get them to comply with rules and regulations. You learn how to treat people with respect, and you work together. Prisoners don’t want to be locked up, but they know they have to do their time, so it’s best everyone gets along so the time can be done.

In 1996, after three years working for the prison, I applied for the Bedford Police Department and was hired in July. I worked through all the ranks, from patrolman to patrol sergeant to operations lieutenant. In 2014 I was appointed Chief of Police. I worked that position until I joined ISRI this year.

What made you apply for a job with ISRI?

I knew Brady Mills [ISRI’s former Director of Law Enforcement Outreach] from the International Association of Chiefs of Police Crime Prevention Committee. I was on the committee with Brady at the same time and I had recently been appointed chair of the committee when he informed me of his retirement. Since he was retiring, he had to resign from the committee. I asked him what was going to happen with the director of law enforcement outreach position at ISRI, and he told me it was open. I didn’t know a lot about recycling, but I knew what he did, and I knew he worked with good people within the industry. One of my favorite things to do is build relationships. I had to do that as a police chief, build relationships between the police and the community. Now, I’m building relationships between the recycling industry and law enforcement to come up with the best solutions to stop metals theft.

What are you looking forward to the most at ISRI?

I’m really excited about working with ISRI members, especially smaller members because they’re the ones that may need the resources or my help more than the larger organizations. Many of the larger organizations have a security staff or someone on staff to handle security. A lot of smaller businesses don’t so they may not know what to do, and I’m excited to help them connect the dots. I also love to learn. I like education, I like reading, so I’m excited to learn about the industry and stretch myself into new areas.