Brattleboro police chief steps down - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Brattleboro police chief steps down

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Brattleboro's longtime police chief is retiring and he's seen many changes in the town during his nearly three decades on the force.

Chief Gene Wrinn looks a little different than his baseball card that the Brattleboro Police Department printed up several years ago to increase community involvement. For almost three decades, he's seen a lot of changes and after 28 years on the force, Wrinn is stepping down.

"The biggest factor is my family. My wife and two kids have allowed me the freedom to do this job in the amount of hours it takes to do it," said Chief Wrinn.

Brattleboro may been known as a small town in Southern Vermont, but it's not immune to big city problems, like drugs and crime. Fully staffed, Wrinn leads a 28 person department.

"We have the first three exits in the state. We have a nuclear power plant right here in Vernon and we are a very very busy tourist town," said Chief Wrinn.

But sometimes it's Mother Nature that puts first responders like Wrinn to the test. He was Chief for just three years when Tropical Storm Irene rolled through town. Wrinn says teamwork got them through it.

"All the emergency responders from the town manager's office, police, fire, DPW to parks and recs that got involved opening shelters and manned those with the Red Cross, everyone pulled together," said Chief Wrinn.

And during Irene, then 17-year-old Marble Arvidson vanished without a trace. It's an unsolved case that Wrinn says he thinks about often.

"It is still unsolved, it is still an active case and from time to time, we follow up leads from that and hopefully someday that will be solved and we will figure out exactly what happened," said Chief Wrinn.

And getting to the bottom of things is what this law enforcement officer has dedicated his life to. A job of protecting that public that is full of ups and downs.

"It is budget challenges, it is facility challenges, it's manpower challenges, it's the drugs, the crime. No matter what it is there are specific challenges that you will deal with on a day to day basis," said Chief Wrinn.

Chief Wrinn says he's not a golfer and he does not plan to stop working. He says he hopes to use his skills in law enforcement to transition into the next phase of his career.

His last day on the job is June 27th. A new chief has not been named yet.

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