By MIKE DONOGHUE
Officer Anthony Cambridge, a six-year veteran of the Hinesburg Community Police, will become the department’s next chief.
Hinesburg Town Administrator Renae Marshall said Friday evening Cambridge was the final pick from seven original candidates.
Cambridge told The Citizen he is honored by the selection and enjoyed going through what he called “a very thorough process.” He said he had received strong encouragement from across the town asking him to apply for the post.
Cambridge, 41, will succeed Police Chief Frank Koss, who has spent more than 40 years in law enforcement including 13 years with Hinesburg Police. He has been the Hinesburg chief since 2012.
Koss is expected to work until Monday June 10 with Cambridge officially take over the reins after that, Marshall said. Cambridge will be paid $71,000 a year to start.
Cambridge lives in South Burlington with his wife Amy and their four children – including triplets – two boys and one girl — age 6. The other son is age 2.
The family has been trying to move to Hinesburg for more than a year, but unable to find a suitable home with at least four bedrooms, Cambridge said. He said he and his wife plan to keep looking.
The new chief received his Bachelor of Arts from William Patterson University and prior to beginning his law enforcement career, worked as a high school social studies teacher for the Manchester Regional High School District in Haledon, N.J. He also volunteered as an auxiliary police officer while teaching.
Marshall said since Cambridge began work for the town he “has continually sought out ways to improve the department and has assisted in writing ordinances and developing various policies.”
She added, “He has modeled good leadership skills as a field training officer and is well respected by his peers.”
Cambridge has served an important role as the liaison with Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU), Marshall said.
He also has been involved in special truck enforcement efforts and helping oversee the patrol contract with the town of St. George. He also is Hinesburg’s representative to the Chittenden Intelligence Committee – a group of investigators from area law enforcement agencies that meet each month to discuss local crime, trends and other issues.
“The selectboard and the Town Administrator look forward to continuing the excellent community minded police service under Mr. Cambridge’s leadership that Hinesburg residents and businesses have grown to expect over the past seven years with Chief Koss,” Marshall said in a prepared statement.
Koss, who just finished serving as president of the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police, announced his retirement in late 2018. Koss has been committed to the community policing model in Hinesburg and has developed a culture within the department that is highly valued by the officers and the community, she said.
“On behalf of the selectboard, town staff and the residents, we extend our sincere appreciation to Chief Koss for his years of service and dedication to Hinesburg,” she said.
The town’s first full-time police chief, Chris Morrell, is credited with inserting the word “Community” into the name: Hinesburg Community Police as a way to put an emphasis into serving the residents and businesses. Morrell taught Community Policing at the Vermont Police Academy for many years, even after his retirement and while working for Shelburne Police.
Cambridge said that “same emphasis on community” that Koss also insisted on will continue as he takes the helm.
Hinesburg Police has five full-time officers, including the chief and patrol sergeant. The department also has a Community Volunteer, a part-time administrative assistant and is authorized four part-time officers – with one current vacancy.
All 10 Chittenden County communities with municipal police departments have now replaced retiring chiefs in the last four years.
Hinesburg received seven applications, including one out-of-stater, who withdrew as the screening committee began its work. Cambridge and Swanton Police Lt. David Kachajian were among those interviewed by the committee and were the two finalists that had separate closed-door sessions with the selectboard a month ago.
Kachajian, who lives in Richmond, did police work in Massachusetts before joining the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department in St. Albans. He later worked 11 years for Montpelier Police and about two years ago joined Swanton Village Police, where he is now No. 2 in command.
The other applicants included one woman and Lt. Allen Fortin of the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department. Fortin created the Hinesburg Police and served as its first part-time chief from 1989-1995 while working fulltime for Shelburne Police. The other applicants included a former captain with a sheriff’s department and two retired Vermont State Police members – a lieutenant and a detective.
Marshall said the search for the police chief was a collaborative process over the past several months that involved extensive work by a nine-member screening committee. The members were current and past selectboard members, town staff and community members, including the retired Colchester town manager, the South Burlington fire chief and a retired Burlington police corporal.