June 2 event to honor former Chief Warden

The public is invited June 2 to a special event organized to honor retired Shelburne Police Chief Jim Warden and to present him with the Colleen Haag Public Service Award.

A group of community members and friends of the former chief have planned an afternoon gathering from 2 to 4 p.m. at Palmer’s Sugarhouse on Shelburne Hinesburg Road.

Organizer Linda Riell said the gathering is intended to be a chance to thank Warden for his service and friendship and enjoy conversation and refreshments.

In addition, Selectboard Chair Jerry Storey said he will attend to present the Haag Award to Warden. The actual award is a pewter bowl fashioned after a larger silver bowl given to the town in 1963 by the ninth Earl of Shelburne, England – a descendent of the town’s namesake – on the occasion of the town’s bicentennial.

Warden retired last August after 30 years as chief of police in Shelburne. In March, the Selectboard decided he would be the recipient of the Haag Award, created two years ago after the longtime town clerk retired to honor one recipient each year for their service and dedication to the community.

But Warden’s retirement came abruptly last year after a brief suspension and that complicated the circumstances for both a retirement party and the award decision – based on nominations from the public – and its presentation.

Organizers for the June 2 event said they and Warden thought the time was right to finally do both together and to give the community a chance to show their appreciation for Warden.

In his years on the police force, Warden was well-liked and respected, and considered a friend by many. He was popular off duty, too, in his role as a dog trainer leading many obedience classes for dog lovers and their pets.

Riell said she hopes many will attend on June 2. “All of the people who have loved Jim over the years are welcome,” she said.

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