After long search, Bristol taps Nason as full-time police chief
BRISTOL — The town of Bristol has promoted one of its own.
As soon as a few contractual details get ironed out, Bristol Police Lt. Bruce Nason will begin his new job as chief of the police department — likely by the end of this month, said Town Administrator Valerie Capels.
A final salary figure has not been determined, Capels added. A job posting last spring set the salary range at $55,000 – $65,000, commensurate with experience.
Nason, who has been officer in charge of the department since former chief Kevin Gibbs retired in August 2017, said he’s looking forward to serving in his new role.
“I love community policing in a small town,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve as chief.”
Nason joined the Bristol Police Department part-time in November 2016 and was promoted to lieutenant July 1, 2017.
This is not his first job as police chief, however.
Before moving to Vermont, Nason served for 20 years with the Saranac Lake, N.Y., police department, more than six of those years as chief, overseeing a department of 12 to 16 full-time officers.
As his tenure there drew to a close, an editorial in the local paper, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, thanked him for his service:
“Chief Nason is regularly seen walking the beat, and that’s something we like best about him. It’s not strictly necessary for every police department to have its chief out on foot patrol, but it’s a great benefit to have this leader be so visible — and to make a priority of foot patrol, and the community interaction that goes along with it.”
Nason has brought that approach with him to Vermont. In addition to increasing foot patrols, the Bristol department has made an effort to be more visible in front of Bristol Elementary School at the beginning and end of the school day.
Bristol had hoped to appoint a new chief by July 1, but the process this spring was sometimes marred by confusion, which led to tension between the selectboard and the volunteer Police Chief Review Committee.
The delay didn’t affect the police department, though, Nason said. Throughout the summer it has been business as usual.
“The town had a lot of positions to fill this summer,” he pointed out. “There was a lot going on. But I am glad we’ve finally been able to address the position of police chief.”
Nason says he’s looking forward to discussing department goals with the town and the current force:
“I want all hands on deck. Everyone should be involved in this. More people in the decision-making process will make the process better.
“I would like to thank the selectboard for the opportunity to lead the Bristol Police Department and to all of the public support I have received during the past year,” Nason added.
Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected].
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