Longtime Bristol police chief to retire this August

BRISTOL — Bristol Police Chief Kevin Gibbs will retire at the end of August.
Gibbs officially announced his retirement at the Bristol Police Department staff meeting last Tuesday, June 27, saying: “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the community of Bristol.”
Gibbs has served on the Bristol police force for 31 years.
He began his career in policing in 1979, in what are now the Security Forces of the Vermont Air National Guard. Gibbs first worked as a municipal policeman in 1984, joining Waterbury’s police department. He joined the Bristol Police Department in October 1986. Gibbs has been Bristol’s chief of police since 1991.
Town Administrator Therese Kirby said the Bristol selectboard has yet to decide whether they will conduct a full search for a new police chief or promote from within the department. Starting July 1, however, current part-time officer Bruce Nason will come onto the force full-time at the rank of lieutenant. This will make Nason the officer in charge while Gibbs takes a scheduled three-week vacation in July and, if no other action is taken, the acting chief of police after Gibbs retires on Aug. 31.
Gibbs said he has recommended that the Bristol selectboard promote Nason to chief of police.
“I have every confidence he can lead this department into the future,” said Gibbs. “He’s done extraordinarily well here since starting part-time, really taken the initiative in reaching out to the community. And I think that he would be an ideal selection to replace me.”
Nason, a police officer for over two decades, joined the Bristol Police Department last November. The Bristol resident came to Vermont after having served 20 years on the Saranac Lake, N.Y., police force, six and a half of them as chief of police. Nason has also been working part-time as a patrol supervisor with the Addison County Sheriff’s Department (since April 2015), and will be leaving that position to serve full-time with the Bristol police department.
Once Nason becomes full-time, the makeup of the Bristol Police Department will be Gibbs, Nason, Josh Otey, and Randy Crowe full-time; Bob Worley and Jori Fairbanks part-time. Crowe has the rank of sergeant; Otey, Worley and Fairbanks serve at the rank of patrolman.
Reporter Gaen Murphree is reached at [email protected].

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