Walsh Retiring Thursday, Interim Chief Named in Great Barrington
After four decades of service to the town of Great Barrington as a police officer, Great Barrington Police Chief, William Walsh will officially retire from his position on December 24th. He served the last 37 as chief. Walsh’s final day of work will be Wednesday, Dec. 23rd, the day before his 65th birthday.
As the town’s search for a new police chief moves toward its final phase, town manager Mark Pruhenski has appointed Sgt. Paul Storti as interim chief. Storti has served with the Great Barrington Police Department for 25 years, and since 2010 has held the rank of sergeant. Storti will hold the position as interim chief until a search committee comes up with a permanent replacement for Walsh. The search for a new chief has been underway since early fall. At that time, a volunteer Police Chief Search Committee screened initial applicants. The process is now entering its final phase with three finalist candidates being invited for interviews with the town manager.
Select board members honored Walsh during its Monday night meeting, via Zoom, and thanked him for his many years of dedicated service to the town. Walsh's department has 17 full-time and four part-time officers, and under Walsh's leadership. Walsh led the department through a months-long voluntary review that brought accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, the first such accreditation of a department in Berkshire County. The praise for Walsh’s accomplishments didn’t only come locally. Walsh has been presented with a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives and another from Governor Charlie Baker, in recognition of his career in the town.
The Town is truly, grateful for Chief Walsh's many decades of police leadership and community commitment... He has excelled in building a culture of innovation with community policing initiatives, citizen education and a greater understanding of mental health issues. He also worked tirelessly to achieve accreditation for our police department and has laid a strong foundation for our town's next police chief. ~ Select Board Chair Stephen Bannon
Sgt. Storti commended Walsh's tenure with the department and wished him well…
All the members of the Great Barrington Police Department want to thank Chief Walsh for his leadership over the years… He has led the department with honor, integrity, and a passion second to none. We all wish him the best in this new chapter of his life.