September 18, 2015

The situation regarding Chief Francis Fox has placed my officer, my department and me in a situation that has been depicted inaccurately. I have received several questions and criticisms and have tried to answer them all in a responsible and honest manner.

Some questions remain that I believe need to be explained. First, why didn’t I disclose this incident to the Town of Belchertown? I fully expected this to come out and believed it would be relatively soon after the incident. It did not occur that way. The department did not take any steps to keep this public record any more secret than any other report related to a citizen’s behavior. We do not make a practice of calling people’s employers when we deal with them in public regardless of who we are dealing with. The level of detail in the officer’s report shows there was no attempt to cover it up either by the officer or the department.

Another criticism we’ve received as of late is related to the emails I received from Chief Fox. The emails from Chief Fox regarding the incident were sent to me when I was out of state on vacation. I did not reply in writing, instead I called him. As I have said from the beginning of this, and prior to the emails being released, I did speak with him over the phone and expressed my displeasure with the situation on several levels. Those emails were released to a member of the local media after a proper request for public information was made and not for any other reason. To suggest that because the emails exist, members of my department and I condoned the alleged behavior or are part of a conspiracy to cover it up is not an accurate account of the situation.

The Granby Police Department has consistently admitted that an arrest would have been preferred in this situation. It didn’t happen and we can’t change that. We have addressed the situation with our members. Our officer was placed in a difficult and stressful situation and made a decision. While that decision has led to some skepticism about what he or we didn’t do, we stand by his honesty and integrity for documenting what he did do and for removing any threat to public safety that may have existed.

As an employee of this police department for the last 19 years, as the Chief and as a resident I am proud of all the women and men of this department for continuing to professionally serve the Town’s residents with honesty and integrity. We have always strived to provide a high level of professional service and will continue to do so. We will not let one incident define who we are or effect the professional service we provide.

Alan Wishart

Chief of Police