Selectmen choose 25-year Wilbraham police veteran as new chief
Date: 12/27/2011Dec. 26, 2011
By Chris Maza
Reminder Assistant Editor
WILBRAHAM After an extensive search the Board of Selectmen ultimately decided it didn’t have to look beyond its own backyard to find its next police chief.
Capt. Roger Tucker, who celebrated his 25th year as a member of the Wilbraham Police Department on Dec. 15, was unanimously selected as the successor of current Chief Allen Stratton, who will retire at the end of the year.
“I’ve been here a very long time and I really enjoy this community,” Tucker told Reminder Publications. “This department has some great officers and I think that really makes the chief’s job a lot easier.”
Tucker was chosen over Hampden Police Chief Jeff Farnsworth, Woonsocket, R.I., Police Capt. Edward Lee and Shrewsbury Police Lt. Mark Dubois for a position he said he has been training for his entire career.
“I think in order to be a good officer you have to prepare your whole career to be at the top at where you work,” he said. “I was always willing to try everything and take part in every training that was offered to me.”
Tucker said he felt his familiarity with the department and the town was a huge benefit for himself and the community during the transitional period.
“I think it’s a big help. I’ve spent 25 years getting to know the citizens and developing contacts in this town,” he said. “Having that ability to pick up the phone and get something done or having the knowledge to let someone know how to get something done versus having to learn all of that is a huge benefit.”
The department’s reputation throughout the community and the state was something Tucker said he was especially proud of.
“One area where this department has excelled is that it is known as a very professional department,” Tucker said. “As chief, I hope to continue that reputation of professionalism.”
While the department has done well in maintaining a peaceful community, Tucker acknowledged there are issues that he will encounter while attempting to ensure the department’s high standards are upheld.
“I think the biggest challenge that we face as a department are the budget issues we are presented with both on the local and state levels,” he said. “It is always a challenge working within a budget in challenging times while maintaining the resources and technology necessary to serve the community.”
Tucker will officially become Police Chief on Jan. 1, 2012.
A retirement party for Stratton, whose last day will be Dec. 31, will take place on Dec. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Country Club of Wilbraham on Stony Hill Road.