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Royalton Police Chief Resigns After 11 Months on the Job

  • Long-time Police Chief Robert Hull, left, explains the current budget to new Chief James A. Beraldi at the Royalton Police Department in Royalton, Vt. on May 2, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap)



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Royalton — Less than a year after taking the job, the Royalton police chief has parted ways with the town after a clash in expectations on how to run the department.

James Beraldi, a Sharon resident, assumed the post 11 months ago.

“The Selectboard of the town of Royalton has accepted the resignation of its police chief, James Beraldi Jr.,” the Selectboard said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “This was a mutual decision arrived at by the chief and the board following discussions between them about their respective visions for the town police department.”

Beraldi’s resignation is effective today.

“The Selectboard thanks chief Beraldi for his service and wishes him nothing but the best in his future professional endeavors,” the board said.

Reached on Wednesday, Beraldi reserved comment on the nature of the situation, other than to say a difference in vision was an accurate representation.

“I have nothing but great things to say about the people of Royalton and Sharon. The community is excellent; I have lived here for a long time,” the 45-year-old Beraldi said. “I have no ill will toward anybody in the community, the board included. It was a great experience.”

Selectboard Vice Chairwoman Peggy Ainsworth said that Beraldi’s managing of the department differed from what the Selectboard had in mind.

Among the ways, she said, were how Beraldi allocated his time and his form of “community policing.”

When Beraldi assumed the post in May, Ainsworth told the Valley News the search committee tasked with selecting the new chief collectively believed that Beraldi would be the best fit for the town.

That has since changed, she said.

“He is a very pleasant fellow, but we didn’t feel he was a good match for being a chief of our department,” Ainsworth said on Wednesday. “There aren’t any hard feelings.”

Beraldi succeeded Bob Hull, who served as Royalton’s police chief for nearly a decade before retiring last spring, and earned an annual salary of $59,000.

Beraldi, who has worked for both Woodstock and Windsor police in the past, said he plans to continue his law enforcement career in Windsor County.

Royalton, meanwhile, doesn’t have plans to hire a new chief at this time.

“Longer term, the board will engage in a review process to examine possible alternatives to the current structure of the police department,” the Selectboard said in its statement.

The Royalton Police Department has been providing police services to Sharon for some time.

The Royalton Selectboard said it has taken steps to ensure public safety interests are addressed in both towns following Beraldi’s departure.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.