Chicago P.D.'s Jesse Lee Soffer Talks Halstead's Leadership Skills And Rank In Season 9


Changes seem to inevitably be on the way for Chicago P.D. in Season 9 after how the eighth season came to an end on multiple cliffhangers. Voight crossed a major line to end Season 8 and dragged Upton along with him, proving yet again that the man in charge of the Intelligence Unit isn't exactly the leader with the cleanest of hands, especially compared to some of the cops working under him. Recently, Jesse Lee Soffer weighed in on the idea of Jay Halstead, who currently holds the rank of detective, getting a promotion at CPD. Sergeant Halstead, anybody?

Season 8 seemed like it could have been building Halstead up as ready to take on more of a leadership role within the team, where he already has seniority as the highest-ranking cop working under Voight for the longest. Ahead of Season 9, I spoke with Jesse Lee Soffer, and he shared his thoughts on Halstead possibly moving up in the CPD:

I don't know if Jay’s gonna get a promotion. The next rank is sergeant, and we have Sergeant Voight. So I think the only way for Jay to get a promotion to sergeant would be for Voight to get a promotion.

Jason Beghe has been playing Sergeant Hank Voight going all the way back to the early days of Chicago Fire before Chicago P.D. even premiered, so it's safe to say that he's very established in his position at CPD. And if he hasn't been caught doing anything that would get him demoted or even fired, is there any chance of him changing positions other than moving upward? And short of that happening, any promotion to sergeant for Halstead would have to mean leaving Intelligence. "Sergeant Halstead" seemingly may not become a reality anytime soon, if at all. Well, maybe Atwater will finally get a promotion!

Interestingly, a similar conundrum has arisen over on Chicago Fire with Stella Kidd earning a promotion as an officer but the firehouse not having an officer spot open for her. And after Halstead has spent the better part of a decade and the defining years of his career in Intelligence, it's hard to imagine him elsewhere. So, does that mean that Halstead will never get to show off his leadership skills? Jesse Lee Soffer weighed in on the kind of leader Halstead would be if he did get more of a leadership position within Intelligence, saying:

That's a great question. I think Jay's a lead by example kind of guy. And I would hope that he would rise to the challenge. I don't know. But I don't know if we're gonna see any of that. I think there's gonna be a lot that goes on between Jay and Voight before anything like that happens.

Although there have certainly been times when Halstead was not setting the best example for the rest of the Intelligence Unit, he did spend Season 8 generally on the straight and narrow. And even when he did swerve a bit off of that straight and narrow path, it was in the pursuit of justice for a good man, not covering up a murder or happily doling out special treatment.

It should definitely be interesting to see how Halstead handles the situation when he learns the big secret that Upton – to whom he may or may not be engaged in Season 9, depending on how P.D. resolves that Season 8 finale cliffhanger – and Voight are hiding. Jesse Lee Soffer already previewed how long it will take Halstead to start connecting the dots and what it means for his dynamic with Voight as well as Upton. Check out the latest promo for P.D.'s return for Season 9:

See what's in store for Jesse Lee Soffer's Jay Halstead and the rest of Intelligence when Chicago P.D. returns for Season 9 on Wednesday, September 22 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following Chicago Fire (with a big cliffhanger of its own to resolve) at 9 p.m. ET and Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET. Between Upton's proposal, Voight covering up a murder, and of course Burgess' grievous injuries, P.D. has a lot of questions that need to be answered, and hopefully the premiere will deliver!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).