After two years, Jebb assumes role as police chief
July 18, 2014
By G. Michael Dobbs
The City Council chambers were packed with supporters and family members attending the announcement and ceremony.
A 27-year veteran of the police department, Jebb told the audience, which contained many law enforcement colleagues, “It’s been an honor to work with you.”
He thanked his family for their support and noted, “It’s been a difficult two years.”
Jebb said, “I look forward to moving the city in the right direction.” Speaking of his department he added, “We are tasked with some very fine talent.”
Mayor Richard Kos explained that once litigation by former Police Chief Thomas Charette, which attempted to block anyone’s appointment to the position if they are not a resident of the city was unsuccessful, he started interviewing the five candidates who had taken the Civil Service examination for the chief’s job.
“It was important to address it as soon as possible,” Kos said
Kos noted that Jebb earned the highest score on the Civil Service test and has “an exemplary record” in the department.
The mayor thanked Charette for his service and when asked about his future with the department Kos said, “He would speak best for himself.” Ray Hershel of ABC40 then told the mayor that he and Charette had spoken and that Charette was filing his retirement papers.
When asked about circumstances detailed in a report by investigator Michael Pavone Sr. issued late last year about morale and discipline problems in the department resulting in part from officers who were loyal to Jebb and those loyal to Charette, Kos said, “Perhaps there is some division.”
Pavone wrote in the report, “There exists many divisions and allegiances that separate rank and file officers as well as superior officers, which appears to be based on divided loyalties, distrust, personalities and a sense of entitlement among personnel.”
The mayor added, “One of the challenges will be to maintain that focus [on public safety].”
Jebb said he would “rebuild morale and move forward with the best practices in law enforcement.”
He did acknowledge “the competitive process between Tom Charette and I” and said there had been “a lot of drama involved.”
Jebb said he would speak with the members of the department that day.
Currently a resident of Wilbraham, Jebb was quoted in the Civil Service ruling that if he was appointed chief he would move back to his hometown of Chicopee.
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