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MANCHESTER — The Manchester Police Department has announced two promotions within the department.

Chief Patrick Owens said Jesse Bravata has been promoted to sergeant and dispatcher Tom Best has been named the director of communications for the department replacing the Bob Mattison who retired about a year and a half ago.

Best has been with MPD since February 2017, but he has more than a dozen years of experience before that.

Best dispatched at the Vermont State Police in the Rutland Public Safety Answering Point from 2003 to 2015. He dispatched for Rutland and Bennington counties including two dozen fire, EMS and municipal police departments.

When the VSP consolidated dispatch centers to the Westminster area, Best went to work as a workers compensation investigator for the State of Vermont for two years.

In 2017 he came on board as a dispatcher for the Manchester Police Department where he dispatches for the MPD, as well as fire and rescue squads in the Northshire including Dorset and Danby.

Originally Best was a night shift dispatcher but he moved to days when Bob Mattison retired after more than a quarter-century in the dispatcher’s chair.

Best learned from Mattison over the years and filled in as the interim director until he was promoted at the end of July.

Chief Owens said he saw the way Best stepped in and took up any task that needed done and Mattison began handing off some of his duties as he headed for retirement.

“When he came on board he was willing to step in and Bob had been giving a lot of stuff he had been doing to Tom,” Owens said. “He’s the kind of guy who just knows what needs to be done.”

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Best has been working with the Manchester Fire Department to create run cards that helps dispatch crews more efficiently in creating first, second and third alarms to send mutual aid and better allocate resource.

A recent fire response in Manchester showed the run cards to work well, and chief Chris Towsley credited them with getting the right personnel and apparatus in the right places for an efficient response.

“I believe seconds save lives,” Best said.

Owens also promoted Jesse Bravata from corporal to sergeant in July, making Bravata a shift leader for the department.

Owens is now backed up by Lt. James Blanchard, Sgt. Bravata and Cpl. Jason Thomas.

Bravata is a relatively new hire by the police department but comes with a lot of experience.

Bravata, who has been a full-time certified officer since 2013, was a sergeant with the Bennington County Sheriff’s Department. He patrolled the Dorset area from 2016 until he was hired by MPD late in 2020 when he was hired as a corporal.

“He was a sergeant for the SO and he brings that experience here,” Owens said. “We brought him in as a corporal but we really wanted to fill that sergeant position. Eventually, I want to have two sergeants.”

There are currently two teams. One is led by Bravata while the other is led by Cpl. Thomas.

“Bravata’s done a great job,” Owens said. “We rearranged the teams when he came on.”

Contact Darren Marcy at or by cell at 802-681-6534.