Chief of Police
Chief Thomas Hanley
(Serving since 1991)
The Chief of Police develops and coordinates the administrative responsibilities to support the
accomplishment of the department mission and provides leadership in public safety for the
community at-large. Until the 1960's the job of the police chief was a part-time position, most
worked their duties in the evening and held a regular full-time job during the day. Police service was
confined to the village area of Middlebury at that time. Prior to the 1900's, the closest thing to a
police department present in the town was a local night watch.
A history of Middlebury Police Chiefs:
c. 1900 - c. 1910 Clay Dickeson Grandfather of Richard Nailor of the former Nailor's
c. 1910 - c. 1917 George Chaffee Maternal grandfather of George Foster of Foster
Brothers Farm (died 2005).
c. 1917 - c. 1937 Charles Shaw Worked as a meatcutter at Gomes Market while serving
as the Chief of Police. Killed in an accident while
driving a truck delivering meat in Addison at age 48 in
1937 - 1937 Charles Penny Served as acting or interim Chief.
1937 - 1944 Ralph Kelton Resigned in 1944.
1944 - 1969 Don Williamson Ran a bowling alley and antique business while serving
as police chief. Came from Middlebury Dept. of Public
Works to serve as Chief, never worked as a patrol
officer (died 1995).
1969 - 1979 Robert Van Ness Hired as a patrol officer in 1967, appointed Chief after
retirement of Williamson.
1979 - 1979 James B. Coons Lieutenant with the Police Department -
administered the department during the five
month vacancy between Van Ness and Watson.
1979 - 1990 Albert Watson Served as a police officer and Sergeant with the
Yarmouth, MA Police Dept. prior to appointment.
1990 - 1991 Kerry Kirkpatrick Captain with the police department - administered
the department between Watson and Hanley.
1991 - present Thomas Hanley Served as a Patrol Officer, Detective and Detective
Sergeant with the Wallingford, CT Police Dept. from
1974-1991, prior to appointment as Chief of MPD.