AMHERST — Amherst Police Chief Scott Livingstone will retire in Might after almost 14 years main a division he joined upon graduating from Granby Excessive Faculty in 1977.
“This has been simply an unbelievable journey during the last 46 years,” Livingstone mentioned in a press release issued Friday.
“I’ve been blessed with unwavering assist from my spouse Rhys and my kids. The people I’ve labored with, each previous and current, are completely the most effective individuals I do know, who’ve chosen a career that’s extra rewarding than irritating. They’ve all performed a task within the cause I’ve remained as a police officer within the city of Amherst for this prolonged interval.”
Livingstone, a Northampton resident, will finish his tenure on Might 27. He was employed as police chief in August 2009, succeeding Charles Scherpa within the position. Livingstone has referred to each Scherpa and Donald Maia, who was Amherst’s chief from 1973 to 1999, as his mentors.
Livingstone began as a group service officer, turned a particular officer trainee in 1979 and a police officer trainee in 1981. Quickly after, he was appointed a patrol officer, then turned sergeant in 1988, lieutenant in 2000 and captain in 2008.
City Supervisor Paul Bockelman thanked Livingstone for his service.
“Scott has served the city of Amherst with integrity, honor, and compassion,” Bockelman mentioned. “He has offered robust, progressive management as chief for 14 years. He’s a novel public security chief — among the best within the state — who has dedicated his whole profession to creating Amherst a secure place for all.”
When Livingstone turned chief, he emphasised group policing and problem-oriented policing. One of many large challenges for the city has been addressing conduct by faculty college students that impression the standard of life in neighborhoods, together with the Blarney Blowout, the annual pre-St. Patrick’s Day revelry that by 2014 had change into an enormous annual disturbance in early March.
Bockelman mentioned Livingstone has run a division with extremely skilled officers, has been on the forefront of embracing change in policing — such because the six pillars of President Barack Obama’s twenty first Century Policing — and has labored to implement the city’s unarmed Group Responders for Fairness, Security and Service division.
“I’ll miss his knowledge, recommendation and friendship,” Bockelman mentioned. “The city has been lucky to have Scott as its police chief.”
City Council President Lynn Griesemer added her assist for Livingstone’s work.
“As he grew up within the Amherst Police Division, the division made many modifications and continues to adapt to the difficult surroundings that’s redefining policing nationwide,” Griesemer mentioned.
“Due to his management, the Amherst Police Division is properly regarded statewide and seen because the coaching and recruitment floor for individuals who transfer on to move departments in communities all through the area.”
A number of of his friends within the division have gone on to guide different municipal businesses, together with Jennifer Gundersen in South Hadley, Christopher Pronovost in Belchertown and Mike Kent in Burlington.
Livingstone launched initiatives similar to addressing quality-of-life points with community-based policing, disaster intervention groups and a group outreach officer; growing specialised response packages similar to in-house civilian advocates on home violence and psychological well being points; and establishing K9 items and the transition to hybrid police cruisers.
Among the skilled achievements Livingstone notes he’s most pleased with embody being named police chief, his commencement from the FBI Nationwide Academy that very same yr, and being named the Police Govt of the 12 months by the Western Massachusetts Police Chiefs in 2019.
For the reason that homicide of George Floyd in 2020, the Amherst police, like many different departments, have been underneath scrutiny. Requires defunding the police throughout latest price range cycles, the creation of CRESS and the discount of the drive to 46 officers have created morale and staffing points for the division.
“To the Amherst group, I’d identical to to say thanks for all of the assist I’ve obtained and proceed to obtain to this present day,” Livingstone mentioned. “Amherst is usually a troublesome city to police in, however we now have at all times been supported by the overwhelming majority of you and for that, I’ll at all times be grateful.”
The city is predicted to start the search course of for a successor instantly, with particulars about that course of and the general public’s participation forthcoming.