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Editorial: Quiet start after hiring good news

It’s been a little over two months since we learned that Robert H. Haigh Jr. was going to become the new police chief in Greenfield ... and about a month after his swearing in.

That this change at the top may have gone relatively unnoticed by the community shouldn’t be seen as a problem, but rather as an indication that Haigh has jumped fully into the position.

That quiet, if you will, is indeed good news.

Sure, perhaps it’s a honeymoon period where everyone is getting to know each other within the department.

Haigh’s hiring represents an important ingredient to the mix within Greenfield and that’s a return to stability. It’s been two years since David Guilbault retired as police chief and while there have been a number of capable men serving in the chief’s seat since then, they’ve all carried the “temporary” or “provisional” tag with them.

Having a permanent chief in place allows everyone to take a deep breath and move forward.

Haigh’s hiring also should smooth the waters that were roiled in just how Greenfield should proceed in finding a chief and whether this was the time to take the position out of Civil Service. Having Haigh, who is a Civil Service hire, on board takes this contentious issue out of play.

And while there are undoubtedly still people who think the town shouldn’t be shackled by the Civil Service process, the issue can now be discussed in a less emotionally charged atmosphere than when the police chief’s position was unfilled. We also think it affords the community to have more time to gather information on both sides of the argument without having some kind of clock ticking.

This, too, adds to a greater sense of stability.

Do we expect this calm to continue unabated? Perhaps not. Contracts, budgets and expectations when it comes to public safety may not allow for the quiet to stay uninterrupted.

But we’re rooting for Haigh, and feel he will demonstrate that he was the right person for the job. Getting off to a quiet start is a good indication.

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