Norwich Police Chief, Jennifer M. Frank, to become Police Chief in Windsor, Vermont.

This interview will help you understand why

I have included my editors comments here followed by the actual interview that was sent to the Vermont Standard.

I first met Jennifer M. Frank when she transitioned from the Windsor PD to become the new Sergeant for the Norwich Police department. In 2017, she was named the American Legion’s “Law Enforcement Officer of the year” for the State of Vermont. During her career, She attended the FBI Supervisor Leadership School and Command Institute. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Gordon College, and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in education from Plymouth State University.

I attended her awards ceremony as a delegate to the American legion Post # 8 and came away thinking that she would be a great asset to the town of Norwich. A short while later I started to see first hand the progress she was making in incorporating Chief Doug Robinson’s community policing policy. In no time at all she was out and about getting to know the community, attending many civic and non/profit organizational meetings to name a few. She has always made herself and fellow officers available to anyone who needed them.

Jennifer became Police Chief when our former Police Chief, Doug Robinson retired and continued to lead the department in an exemplary manner, always making community policing an important part of her daily duties. One could say she took community policing to the next level, with the many new programs that she instituted.

I was so impressed with what she was doing for the Town of Norwich, and I started to write about many of these programs in my “About Norwich Newsletter” blog. I am so glad that I covered these stories as it gave me an opportunity to see first hand and get to appreciate her for the “real” down to earth person that she is. Although she has only been here for 3 years, she has taken the police motto of “Protect and Serve” to a new level and the Norwich community has been very fortunate to have her as Chief of Police.

She will be missed by many here in Norwich and I take this opportunity to congratulate her on her new position.

And now for the rest of the story and her interview with the Vermont Standard.

Chief Frank alongside photos of former Norwich Police Chief’s.

I would like to share with the Norwich community an interview that was recently done for the Vermont Standard newspaper. It was an interview between the Vermont Standard and Norwich Police Chief Jennifer M. Frank. This interview will hopefully provide you with some information regarding her transition back to Windsor and why.

These were the questions that were asked:

And here are Chief Jennifer M Franks views on the transition.

1. What influenced your decision to apply for the chief’s position in Windsor?

The decision to transition from one police agency to another is never an easy one as you build strong relationships with your staff and your community wherever you go. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with officers here in Norwich who are of the highest integrity, and character, who are committing to serving the residents of the Norwich to the fullest of their capabilities. I believe it is important to note that I am not leaving my position as Chief of Police here in Norwich because I am unhappy, or dissatisfied. Rather I am accepting an opportunity to rejoin a community and a department that I love. The Windsor Police Department is comprised of some of the most highly qualified, well trained officers in the state. It is a department that recognizes the value of community policing and is a leader in 21st century policing. As Chief of Police in Windsor, I look forward to continuing to build upon the pillars of trust, legitimacy and accountability. We will continue to make certain that are officers are well trained in order to provide the highest quality of service to those who live, work, play and visit in our community, while remaining abreast of new technology, legislation, and standards of operation.

2. How are the Norwich and Windsor departments similar/different?

Although the Norwich and Windsor Police Department (WPD) share many similarities, they also have some unique differences that set each one apart from the other. WPD is a larger police department which allows for the agency to specialize and provided targeted services to the community. Some of those specializations include a school resource officer position, an assignment that truly embodies all that is the best of community policing and Windsor is fortunate to have Sgt. Favreau who does an excellent job serving in that role. WPD also benefits from a detectives division which allows officers, specifically trained in case investigation, to dedicate their time, efforts and resources to solving complicated cases such as missing persons, drug investigations, sexual assaults and burglaries. These cases are time consuming and require specialized training. Sgt. Blanchard does a terrific job of leading this division and bringing his training and expertise to bear. Beyond the police department, it is the community of Windsor that draws me to this new position. I can not describe in words how special this community is. It is comprised of families and neighbors who truly care about one another and about Windsor as a whole. It is a community of people who will drop anything in a moments notice to help out someone they have never met, and will gather together to celebrate individual and community wins no matter how big or how small.

3. What are some of the issues/problems in Windsor that you hope to address as chief?

As Chief of Police in Windsor, I look forward to continuing to build upon the pillars of trust, legitimacy and accountability. We will continue to make certain that are officers are well trained in order to provide the highest quality of service to those who live, work, play and visit in our community, while remaining abreast of new technology, legislation, and standards of operation.

4. When is your official start date? What tasks/unfinished business do you hope to complete in Norwich prior to your departure?

We have much to accomplish at NPD over the next 30 days as we plan for the March 1 transition date. SGT Keeling will be stepping into the role of OIC – Officer in Charge and will lead the department in my absence until the Town Manager, Select board, and community determine the next steps forward. Even though I am leaving to take the helm at WPD, I will continue to support and be a resource for Sgt. Keeling and the rest of the officers and staff of NPD. Police departments by nature have a built in succession plan that guarantees smooth transitions between leadership and I am confident that the department will continue to have great success regardless of what direction they choose to travel. While some aspects of the department operation and, approaches, and strategic plan may remain, I anticipate that new leadership will also bring a fresh set of eyes and a fresh vision. I look forward to continuing to watch NPD grow and I am honored to have been a part of that process.

5. Finally, what specific changes/reforms do you plan to are as head of the department in the current political climate?

While many might assume that it is a difficult time to be in law enforcement, I view it instead as one of the most exciting. We are at a cross roads in our nation where we are being given an opportunity to completely reexamine law enforcement and the role of the guardian in todays climate. I look forward to continuing to examine that role, to re-evaluate our approaches, policies, missions, goals and objectives. I know that someday, my granddaughter will look back on this time period in our history books and I will be able to share with her that myself and our department were a part of this process, this cultural transformation. The men and women of WPD are committed to transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, and a fair and just criminal justice process. We value the opportunity to take a close examination of where we are today, the processes that work, and to reexamine those that may need a course correction. We will continue to serve all populations of our community with honor and consider ourselves blessed to have been entrusted with this greatest of responsibilities.