UPDATE: Thursday, July 27 –
Deputy Shelburne Police Chief Aaron Noble has been named interim head of the Shelburne Police Department. In a memo to Police Department employees dated Wednesday, Town Manager Joe Colangelo said: “Dep. Chief Aaron Noble is the Acting Police Chief of the department until further notice.” When asked for more details today, Colangelo said he no further information to share at this time.
Longtime Shelburne Police Chief James Warden received a recent three-day suspension from the town for unspecified reasons, according to public records obtained by the Shelburne News.
“I have been placed under suspension by the Town Manager for three days, July 19th through the 21st. During this period of suspension Deputy Chief Aaron Noble will be in charge of the department,” Warden said in a memo dated July 18.
The memo entitled “My Suspension,” was directed to “all police department employees.” It is signed with what appears to be Warden’s signature.
Repeated attempts to reach Warden this week by the Shelburne News were unsuccessful. Warden did not respond to multiple phone and text messages. He was taking a sick day Wednesday, according to a Shelburne emergency dispatcher that morning.
Town Manager Joe Colangelo said he was limited about what he could say because he considered it a personnel matter which would be confidential.
A public records request by the newspaper yielded Warden’s memo and the town’s payroll for last week showing the chief was paid only $616.
Warden, who is 78, has been chief in Shelburne for 30 years. Warden told the Shelburne News last month he was unsure when he might retire. He said he still loved his job and the community. Warden made those comments as the town announced it had elevated Noble to the newly created post of deputy police chief.
Then-Cpl. Noble, 49, was selected from four in-house candidates. Noble is a 29-year police veteran, including 25 years in Shelburne. He spent two years each with Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department and the University of Vermont Police.
At the time of Noble’s promotion, Colangelo said the move was part of an effort throughout government operations in Shelburne to develop leadership, succession, and organizational planning throughout all departments.
Warden also said he supported the choice for deputy chief. The other candidates were Sgt. Allen Fortin and Officers Josh Flore and Mike Thomas.
Warden also is well-known in Shelburne as a longtime instructor for dog obedience classes. Prior to being hired in Shelburne, Warden served as police chief in St. Albans City for more than 10 years. He began his police career in Pennsylvania where he worked as police chief for two departments.
Shelburne Police is authorized 12 full-time officers, including the chief. The department also has four part-time officers, seven full-time emergency dispatchers and three part-time dispatchers.