Introducing Milton’s new chief of police, John King

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Contributed by Milton Resident, Doug Scibeck

On June 7th the Town Administrator reported to the Board of Selectmen, at their scheduled meeting, the appointment of a new Chief of Police. Deputy Chief John King will become the new Milton Chief of Police upon the retirement of Chief Richard Wells.

I reached out to Deputy Chief King and he graciously agreed to answer some questions.  Many Milton residents know Mr. King, but as a growing town there are many people not as familiar with him.  This interview is intended as an introduction of Mr. King to the town as the new chief.  Currently the new chief is out of town for most of June both attending a seminar on issues affecting law enforcement leaders and taking some personal time.  The questions and answers were conveyed by email. Since the interview focuses on Mr. King there were no questions regarding the recent town elections or Chief Wells. The only exception was one question asking if Mr. Wells would have a position with the Milton Police after his retirement. This was prompted by a comment during the elections that Mr. Wells would be entitled to retain a civil service rank of lieutenant. Mr. King respectfully referred any comment regarding the status of Mr. Wells, or his future, to him personally.


Please tell me a bit about yourself, where you are from? How long you have served in Milton? I am sure the residents would like to get to know you better personally.


I grew up here in Milton and started working for the Milton Police Department as a police cadet at age 19 while also attending college. Over the next couple years I finished college and was hired as a police officer in 1995. So I have served a total of 24 years with the Department, 21 as a police officer. Over those years, I served in various assignments/ranks, most recently as Deputy Chief.


What challenges face the police department and what do you think the residents should be aware of that they might not be?


As far as challenges currently facing the Department, they include issues such as: substance abuse; traffic problems; domestic violence; property thefts; and increasing financial and technology crimes. I believe it is very important for residents to be kept aware of problems in Town and for the Police Department to actively educate the community and work with them to prevent problems before they occur.


What is your vision for the police and the town? What would you like to accomplish in your first 100 days?  Do you plan any changes as to how the police work in town?


My vision for the Department is a proactive, community oriented, and efficient Department. I believe this can be accomplished through increased use of technology, innovative data driven strategies, and modifications to the Department’s structure. These are the types of changes I would initiate in my first 100 days, but I respectfully decline to detail them more specifically without first discussing them with Department members and Town officials.


Do you have plans to increase the police visibility in town through such things as officers walking among neighborhoods, or bicycle police?


Once I discuss those changes with them, I do feel we can better address traffic problems by instituting a system of specific targeted enforcement that is based on citizen complaints and traffic accident data. I also plan to increase visibility in the community through such things as bicycle patrols and community outreach.

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