Please accept my heartfelt thank you for allowing me to serve as your Police & Fire Chief as well as your Emergency Management Director for the past decade and a half. As you know, there has been much controversy circulating in the media over the St. Albans Police Department and Sgt. Jason Lawton and now Officer Zachary Pigeon. Also in the mix are two other former SAPD Officers, Joel Daughrehil and Mark Schwartz. Some of the media would have everyone believe that all of these cases are interlinked and all happened around the same time. They are not, and did not. That being said however, in each of these cases I immediately did the things that needed to be done and took the appropriate courses of action, respectively, when I learned of them. That has led to internal investigations, discipline, suspensions, resignations and in some cases terminations. That has very much turned the unionized Officers of the Police Department against me and they have voiced their dissatisfaction with me to the City Manager and City Council.
In light of this development I have decided that I will retire. I have been the Chief in St. Albans for the past 15 years. I’m 65 years old in July and will have completed 45+ years of service (1974) as a police officer by then. Though the City of St. Albans and all of its Leadership and the City Council has unanimously supported me and continue to do so, I have decided that I will finish out this year (2020) with a planned target date to retire from St. Albans and move on to the next chapter in my life on January 1, 2021
Let me assure you that as the Police/Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director in St. Albans I have always looked out for the best interest of our community and its citizens, as well as my staff when they are in the right. Though I, and most of the Officers of the St. Albans Police Department, had no part in the actual events that these incidents are comprised of they did occur on my watch. It’s time to turn the page.
This is a wonderful community and you are well served by some of the finest men and women I have ever known or been associated with. I have enjoyed a long and proud law enforcement career, the last fifteen years of which have been right here in St. Albans. I am proudest of the time that I have spent here in St. Albans. Our accomplishments as a police department and a community have been many, and others across the state have taken notice. In a number of instances our pioneering undertakings in St. Albans have been replicated in other communities across the state.
The last year has been difficult and I apologize that the organization that I was responsible for brought such unfavorable attention to our community. The regrettable actions of a few have greatly embarrassed our organization and our community, but those responsible have been, or will be held accountable for their actions. I hope that you all know that the actions of those individuals are not representative of the caliber of the men and women of the St. Albans Police Department. I am proud of the police department and the men and women who serve our community as police officers.
Thank you again. This is an outstanding community, comprised of great people and great families. I am proud to have served as your Police/Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director.