HINSDALE, N.H. -- Although its been more than a week since he was appointed, Todd Faulkner still hasn't gotten used to people calling him "Chief."
During a public vote on July 2, town officials appointed Faulkner as the new Hinsdale Police Chief, replacing Wayne Gallager who retired earlier this year.
"It's a great honor," Faulkner told the Reformer. "Before he was even considering retiring, Wayne was preparing me for what it takes to be chief. He was a great mentor. I stepped into these shoes knowing exactly where this department needs to go and what we need to do."
Faulkner grew up in southeastern Vermont, in Brattleboro and Vernon, attended Brattleboro Union High School and began his career in law enforcement in 1990 when he graduated from the Vermont Police Academy. After graduating from Southern Maine Technical College with a degree in criminology, he went to work in nuclear security from 1992 until 1996 when he joined the Hinsdale Police Department as a patrolman.
Since then, Faulkner has worked through the ranks, earning lieutenant in late 2005 and also became a master instructor for Taser, training more than 2,000 officers in 100 departments in the country.
He said much of his success is attributed to his and the department's ability to work together with other police agencies, especially the Brattleboro Police Department.
On average, the Hinsdale Police Department responds to roughly 35 calls a
"We see everything here -- murder cases, child sexual assault cases, bank robberies, our officers need to be able to handle any situation as well as work with other departments to solve the crime," he said. "Crime doesn't stop at the border so our officers know we need to work with other departments. The officers we have here get a vast experience quickly so cross-training is key so that when a call comes in at 2 a.m., they can respond."
The Hinsdale Police Department is also constantly battling computer-based crimes and as such, often works with the detectives from Brattleboro and shares the necessary technology, he said.
"This is New England, police have to work cooperatively," he said. "By working together we can help the victims and keep the community safe."
During his tenure as chief, Faulkner said he plans to increase the police's community involvement, work with the local schools to help educate children on the dangers of online activity, continue to work with other departments, develop a tipsline and update the police department's website.
"I plan on being very involved in the schools," Faulkner said. "The students need to see police officers and not be afraid to talk to them, play pick-up basketball with them. This community is our eyes and ears."
Josh Stilts can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.