Dated August 8, 2017 For Immediate Release
The Chief of Police for the Town of Shelburne, James (“Jim”) Warden, has announced his retirement effective August 4, 2017. Chief Warden will remain employed by the Town as a consultant to the Police Department through January 31, 2018. Other than this Press Release, the Town will have no comment on this personnel issue.
There has been much speculation in the press and among the public regarding Chief Warden’s absence from work for the last couple of weeks. Chief Warden has been out on medical leave since July 17, 2017.
Chief Warden has now made the difficult decision to retire, due to medical reasons. He has served the Town faithfully as Chief for 30 years. Through his time in Shelburne, Chief Warden helped grow the dispatch center, from serving a few agencies to serving 32 emergency agencies. Also, as the landscape of crime changed in Shelburne, Chittenden County, and across the country, Chief Warden felt it was important that the Town have a team of officers trained specifically for situations beyond the norm of regular policing and thus started the Response Team. He also helped start the Explorers program and received the William H. Spurgeon, III Award, the highest recognition for those contributing significant leadership to the Exploring program. Throughout his tenure, he served as Acting Town Manager, when needed and for nine months in between Town Managers, while still fulfilling his duties as Chief. In addition to managing the Police Department, Chief Warden would often be seen taking calls, directing traffic, and working at concerts side-by-side with his fellow officers.
In his off-duty time, Chief Warden has provided dog obedience classes through the Shelburne Recreational Department for over 20 years. Around the holidays, the Chief could be seen wearing a red velvet suit and hat, riding on the fire truck to meet the children of Shelburne. With his jovial laugh and ability to recall the names of each child, their parents, or perhaps their dogs, Chief Warden always kept the magic alive for these kids meeting Santa.
Chief Warden will act as a consultant to the Police Department through the end of the year, in order to assure a smooth transition to new leadership. The Department will be greatly benefited by his assistance during this period.
The Town thanks Chief Warden for his many years of protecting and serving the people of Shelburne, and wishes him all the best in his well-earned retirement.