Todd Baxter ’11 Running helps police chief stay physically and mentally active

By Tom Rivers ’96

page36-1When Todd Baxter laces up his running shoes and heads out the door, he soon finds a rhythm — and feels his brain racing. The chief of the Greece Police Department said he does some of his best thinking while he is running. He’s free from distractions.

“There is solitude,” he said, “and it opens up the mind.”

Baxter grew up in Rochester and joined the Army for three years of active duty, followed by 19 years in the Army Reserve. Early in his military career, Army leaders advised the troops that exercise would help them, and not just by staying in shape.

“They said physical fitness would keep the stress levels down,” Baxter said.

He has maintained a regular schedule of exercise throughout a 25-year career in law enforcement. He has run 10 marathons, including the 26.2-mile course at Disney in January. Baxter also ran a 5k at Disney with his 14-year-old son. His personal best is a 3:57 marathon in Cincinnati.

He has kept up with his exercise routine, even as his schedule has become more packed.

“Running is simple,” he said. “It’s out the door with a pair of sneakers.”

A 2011 graduate of Roberts’ Organizational Management program, Baxter oversees 102 officers with the Greece Police Department. He credits the OM program with helping him be an effective police chief. The program stressed small-group dynamics, strategic thinking and research, as well as other leadership skills. Since becoming chief, he has worked to reduce officer overtime, fine-tune policies and develop a mission for the department. “

With every module in the OM program, I took something back to work for a project,” he said.