Steve Locke is not a police officer but he now oversees all police operations at Hartford headquarters. But not like a typical police Chief.
"I am not going to be making tactical operational police decision. Not my job. I'm an administrative head," Locke says.
Locke, who is also the Fire Chief, is the community's new Public Service Director -- a position created by the town after an unsuccessful search for a new police chief. Day-to-day operations will be run by these two: Deputy Chief Lenny Roberts and newly-appointed Deputy Chief Brad Vail.
"I think there was a misconception that we were going to have a fire chief showing up at crime scenes," Vail says.
Locke says more than 90 percent of what he does is administrative duties. Paperwork police officers no longer have to do.
"Relieving them of that burden so they can focus on community policing, succession planning and accreditation," Locke says.
The move also frees up money to hire a new drug detective. Detectives will report to Deputy Roberts, who was Acting Chief and in the running for the permanent Chief position.
"I think it is a united front and I think it is going to work out very well," Roberts says.
It's a public service model that seems to be spreading across Vermont. Barre, St. Albans, Bennington and now Hartford all have Public Service Directors. And the directors we spoke to say it's working well, despite some initial public concern.
"I think he has the respect of both the fire department and police department personnel," says Selectboard Chair Ken Parker. "The realization that Steve is not going to be carrying a gun, or will he have a badge."
"I have to earn their trust, and I am going to work hard at that," Locke says.
As for how long the new structure will be in place, Locke says it's just temporary. He says he's focused on the priorities he's already laid out. But town officials say if the model proves successful, it could pave the way for more regional coverage throughout the Upper Valley.
The Hartford Fire Department is the only accredited fire department in New England, and Locke says the Police department will also be accredited within three years.
Monday, May 20 2013 5:47 PM EDT2013-05-20 21:47:35 GMT
Final preparations are in the works for Sunday's Vermont City Marathon."We expect this event to be fun and exciting, just like it has every other year in the past, but we also want to be safe and mindfulMore >>
Police are beefing up security for the Vermont City Marathon this weekend, and they are asking the public to help them keep it safe.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 5:06 PM EDT2013-05-20 21:06:45 GMT
A guilty plea Monday to one of the men linked to the death of a young man at the St. Albans pool.Chris Davis, 22, was found in the pool in April of last year, about a month after he had been reported missingMore >>
A guilty plea Monday to one of the men linked to the death of a young man at the St. Albans pool.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 4:45 PM EDT2013-05-20 20:45:21 GMT
A Forbes 500 company is coming to Rutland to start a pilot program for community solar leases.Green Mountain Power announced Monday a partnership with NRG Energy -- the largest solar developer in the U.S.More >>
A Forbes 500 company is coming to Rutland to start a pilot program for community solar leases.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 1:28 PM EDT2013-05-20 17:28:54 GMT
The Queen City Police Foundation Monday honored two recipients of the Antonio Pomerleau Medal of Honor Award.Annie Ramniceanu of Spectrum Youth and Family Services has helped youth dealing with homelessnessMore >>
The Queen City Police Foundation Monday honored two recipients of the Antonio Pomerleau Medal of Honor Award.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 1:27 PM EDT2013-05-20 17:27:50 GMT
The national 'Click it or Ticket' campaign began Monday and local law enforcement agencies around the region say they will be out in force. To kick off the two week effort, numerous Vermont and New YorkMore >>
Law enforcement officials say wearing a seat belt increases survival rates in an accident by 50 percent and buckling up is the single easiest way to save your life.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 1:04 PM EDT2013-05-20 17:04:01 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>