Police Officer Christopher Whitney is sworn in by Town Clerk Haley Mezcywor on Wednesday.
ADAMS, Mass. — The town welcomed new Police Officer Christopher Whitney and recognized two departing members of the School Committee and Planning Board for their many years of service.
Whitney, who was met with applause Wednesday after his ratification by the Board of Selectmen, brings over 17 years experience in law enforcement to the department.
"His training and experience speak volumes and he is going to be a tremendous asset to our department and to the town," Police Chief Richard Tarsa said. "To have a new hire with 17 plus years experience that speaks volumes we welcome him and are eager to get him on board."
Tarsa said, to his knowledge, Whitney is only the second lateral transfer to the department. He said Whitney spent the early part of his career in the North Adams Police Department and after seven years there transferred to Pittsfield, where he stayed for 10 years.
He has worked different patrol assignments and holds multiple certifications and trainings. He is a firearms instructor, defensive tactics instructor, and a nonlethal chemical weapons deployment officer.
"He comes with a wealth of knowledge," Tarsa said.
Tarsa said it was after some time off that Whitney decided to come back to law enforcement.
"He decided he wanted to go back into law enforcement and when he heard that we were looking for a lateral or someone who was fully academy trained and he jumped at it," he said. "We are thankful he did so."
The board also acknowledged longtime Planning Board member Barbara Ziemba, who served on the board for 32 years.
"She has served on the Planning Board since 1987 and I just wanted to say thank you," Selectwoman Christine Hoyt said. "Your commitment pushed initiatives forward and I got to watch you go through all of the marijuana bylaw meetings and I learned quite a bit from you."
Selectman Joseph Nowak agreed and said Ziemba was always an independent voice on the board.
"I have known Barbara an awfully long time and she has always given her heart to anything she puts her mind to," he said. "I have been to quite a few meetings and Barb was not afraid to say what she felt and she always had logic behind all of it."
The board also recognized former School Committee member Paul Butler for his 19 years of service to the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District.
"I was there when you started and every decision that you made has been in the interest of the children," said Selectman John Duval, who served on the committee with Butler. "You never had an agenda and everything you did was for the kids and I appreciate that as a former member and a resident of this town."
Hoyt agreed and said Butler was involved in some important decisions during his time on the board including the closing of Cheshire Elementary School in 2016.
"It hasn't been the easiest road all of the time and I know you had to make some very difficult decisions along the way," she said. "We thank you for service to not only Adams but to the entire county."
Butler thanked the board.
"I am very humbled by all of your words and it has been a great pleasure and honor to serve Adams and Cheshire and the entire school district," Butler said. "Our No. 1 goal was to always do what was right by our students."
Both Ziemba and Butler receive certificates from the board.