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"Everything has a shelf life," he says. "I'm trying to be as fresh as I can be for as long as I can. But I need to start putting people in places where they can grow. It's not just about what I do when I'm here. We need to have good leaders when I leave."
And that may be Forté's single greatest impact on the department. He's determined to groom its future leadership.
Forté attended Richardson's funeral on November 21. Since then, he has found himself checking his phone in the mornings, looking for a text from his friend.
"I tell my daughters, 'You can't be a victim,' Forté says. "Things happen to everyone. The question is what are you going to do about it."