THE TOWN OF AMHERST IS RECRUITING FOR ITS NEXT CHIEF OF POLICE
The Town of Amherst is located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts with a population of nearly 40,000. Amherst is a diverse, inclusive community offering numerous educational and cultural opportunities. It has a large student population as host to Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts. The Town operates under a Council-Manager form of government and enjoys a strong tradition of professional government with an expectation of high level government services, quality education, support for open space and agriculture, and respect for its history.
The Town of Amherst views its work through the dual lenses of climate action and racial equity & social justice. The Town embraces and is strengthened by the unique and dynamic backgrounds of its community members. The Town believes in fostering and maintaining a safe and welcoming community, which is based on mutual respect for our residents, students, employees, businesses, and guests.
To learn more about the Town of Amherst, please visit our “About Amherst” page on the Town’s website.
About the Amherst Police Department
The Amherst Police Department is a team of 47 sworn officers and 14 civilian employees, including those in the Communications Center (Dispatch), Parking Enforcement, and Animal Welfare. The success of the Amherst Police Department is due both to the strong commitment of the employees and to the support they receive from the community. The Police Department values the trust placed in them by the community that they serve and are diligent in efforts to uphold that trust. The Amherst Police Department continues to identify new and innovative ways to address crime and quality of life concerns, and welcomes input from the community.
The Department works with and cooperates with the other Town public safety agencies: Fire & Emergency Medical Services and CRESS – Community Responders for Equity Safety and Services (an independent unarmed, person centered, trauma informed, antiracist public safety agency).
About the Successful Candidate
The Chief of Police serves as a strategic partner with the Town Manager to establish goals and objectives focused on the safety and security of the community. The Chief is responsible for enforcing all laws within the Town of Amherst and for overseeing the development and implementation of policies, programs, and practices that best serve the needs of the residents and visitors of the Town.
The next Chief of Police will be a collaborative, transformational leader with proven executive experience, strong interpersonal and communication skills, and a core belief in customer service. The successful candidate will be a highly experienced, innovative, and engaging law enforcement professional who embraces and cultivates a culture of community engagement; who can look at issues differently and find innovative solutions; who fosters and furthers the Department’s community connections, balancing law enforcement and community engagement; and who is proactive in anticipating challenges, recommending innovative solutions, and delivering positive outcomes.
With a focus on creating a strong public presence, the Chief will serve as an ambassador of community engagement, actively participating in holistic conversations on topics such as racial and social justice, mental health, and community policing. The Chief will also act as a servant leader and champion of the needs and concerns of officers within the Police Department, exercising a diligent commitment to improving morale, establishing trust, and building positive organizational culture. The Chief must display humility, flexibility, open-mindedness, and complement the Town's progressive disposition while earnestly cultivating partnerships with stakeholders and constituents.
In addition, the successful candidate will possess the following:
- A record of success in a comparable community and an unwavering commitment to equity and inclusion;
- A firm grasp of municipal law enforcement methods and the willingness to analyze and adapt standards and practices to meet community needs and expectations;
- Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with elected officials, business and community leaders, advisory boards, the news media, and the community;
- Exceptional communication skills with the ability to inspire credibility and public trust and interact respectfully with citizens from all backgrounds;
- Ability to negotiate agreements and/or reach consensus among diverse interests;
- Ability to act as a positive role model and respected mentor, especially in the areas of customer service, ethical behavior, transparency, dispute resolution, problem-solving, and fostering a culture that values and respects all members of the team and the community;
- Desire to look critically at the Police Department to determine opportunities for rebranding;
- Commitment to community policing and the ability to engage in potentially uncomfortable discussions around policing, community, race, and reform. Community policing is meant to be a multi-tiered approach to create and shape public safety policies and engagement that advances racial and social justice across all economic classes, ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and identities. In line with the Town of Amherst’s priorities, community policing initiatives will embody the values of Equity, Transparency, Accountability, Innovation, and Social Justice. The next Chief of Police must be an active participant in this initiative, and must set an example inside the Police Department and in the community during their daily interactions.
- In addition, the successful candidate will possess the following attributes:
- Visionary Leadership: Demonstrated competence and willingness to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategic plan (mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives) and implement community safety metrics that are not just law enforcement related. The next Chief of Police must have the ability to foster a supportive, collaborative, creative, and innovative environment that develops staff capacity.
- Compassion: Absolute commitment to using head and heart to inspire and influence others by consistently practicing empathy, kindness, and sympathy, thereby positively influencing others.
- Critical Thinking: Ability to understand logical relationships between concepts and ideas, recognize the importance of the relationships, carefully evaluate options, and make the decisions that will most positively impact desired outcomes.
- Ethical Leadership: Unquestionable demonstration of appropriate conduct, integrity, morals, and ethics through personal actions, deeds words, and interpersonal relationships.
For more information and to apply, visit www.amherstma.gov