Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Say it isn't so Mike
Retired Chief Charlie Scherpa on left and Captain--now Chief--Mike Kent
So I've known a lot of cops over the years and they don't come any better than Mike Kent. Having come of age during the somewhat wild and woolly days of the early 80s where guts and instinct mattered most, to successfully straddling the gap into the new millennium where training, education and professionalism are now paramount.
After almost 30 years of patrolling the streets of the People's Republic of Amherst (not to mention many, many miles of long distance running) Captain Kent transitions to Chief Kent for the town of Burlington.
Not overly surprising to those of us who pay attention to Public Safety. When Captain Kent, who filled in as acting Chief for six weeks, and was then passed over for the permanent position in favor of boyhood friend Scott Livingstone, the writing was clearly on the wall.
Although gracious as always Mike responded: "No doubt he'll do a tremendous job; I will try to be the best second in command I can be." But as the old saying goes, "Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven."
And comparing the departments perhaps those roles are reversed: Amherst PD serves 27 square miles with a permanent population of 34,000, using only 26 patrol officers, 7 sergeants, 3 lieutenants and two captains with an annual budget of $4 million.
Burlington PD serves a 12 square mile area with a permanent population of 25,000 residents, using 42 patrol officers, nine sergeants, four lieutenants and two captains with an annual budget $6 million.
Sounds pretty heavenly to me.