The Mountain Times

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Whit Montgomery named Killington Chief of Police

Local law enforcement veteran is unanimous choice to head new department, becomes the first police chief

KILLINGTON - Killington's longtime constable Whit Montgomery has been named as the town's first chief of police - a job that was created in March after the Selectboard approved the formation of a new police department in February. Killington Town Manager Seth Webb made the announcement Tuesday, June 7.

Montgomery's appointment comes following a full assessment of applicants by the hiring committee, made up of Webb, Selectboard member Patty McGrath, and Richard Gauthier, executive director of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council. According to Webb, the town received four applications for the position. At the conclusion of the process, which included personal interviews and an extensive background check, Montgomery was the unanimous top selection of the committee.

"Whit is highly regarded by Vermont law enforcement, and his experience as Constable and knowledge of Killington made him the obvious choice," said Webb. "We are fortunate to have him at the helm of our new department."

A 14-year law enforcement veteran, Montgomery started his career in his hometown of Killington following his 1999 graduation from the Vermont Police Academy. He served as Second Constable for virtually all of that time, until his election to First Constable in March of this year. He is also the co-founder of Killington Search and Rescue (KSAR), a nonprofit organization that specializes in backcountry rescues.

"I'm honored to accept this important job, in this community that I love," said Montgomery.  "My roots and my future are here in Killington, and I am totally committed to working with town officials, businesses, citizens and the Resort to make our new police department successful and well respected."

In his new role as Chief of Police, Montgomery will work under the supervision of the Town Manager and be responsible for managing a department consisting of two part-time special officers and overseeing contractual services for animal control and other special details as needed.

The job position is effective immediately.

Montgomery's plans for the new department include creating performance measures for local law enforcement, and introducing a greater focus on Community Oriented Policing, including a Neighborhood Watch, an anti-bullying program and a drug and alcohol awareness program within the Elementary School and more.

The transition from a constable department to a municipal police department began in February of this year when the Killington Selectboard unanimously voted for the change. Selectboard chair Chris Bianchi explains the move. "We wanted to create a police department that better prepares our officers and increases their effectiveness by giving them increased access to criminal history and information sharing with other law enforcement."

According to Webb, the Vermont State Police has been very supportive of Killington's transition, and will continue to provide patrols when the department is not on duty.

Killington, home to Killington and Pico Ski Resorts, is a resort community located at the crossroads of U.S. Route 4 and Vermont 100. While the year round population is under 1,000 people, the Town has over 2,500 second home owners and plays hosts to tens of thousands of tourists on any given weekend.