Ashland’s Acting Police Chief Brings Many Years of Service to New Role
Lt. Richard Briggs takes on a new role as Ashland’s acting police chief. (Photo/supplied)
By Cynthia Whitty
This summer Lt. Richard Briggs was sworn in as Ashland’s acting police chief, replacing Chief Vincent Alfano who retired after 2 ½ years of service. Briggs began his law enforcement career 28 years ago and has served in the Ashland police department for 20 years.
Briggs began his career as a dispatcher with the Mashpee Police Department and then served as a police officer for Babson College and Northeastern University. Before coming to Ashland, he was a full time police officer for two years in the Town of Dover.
Ashland Local Town Pages asked Lt. Briggs about his qualifications and experience, his priorities for the coming months, and what he enjoys on his off hours.
Whitty: What experience prepares you for this new role?
I’ve been a police officer in Ashland for 20 years, beginning as a part-time police officer in 2001, and was appointed full time in 2002. Since then, I have served as a patrol officer, school resource officer, sergeant/patrol supervisor, lieutenant, and executive officer. As the executive officer, I assisted the chief of police with the day-to-day operations of the police department.
From 1999 to 2009, I was a Call Firefighter/EMT with the Ashland Fire Department where I also served as a member of the Massachusetts Fire District 14’s Regional Dive Rescue Team.
For several years, I served as the Commanding Officer of the Search and Rescue Division of the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council, which is a consortium of 43+ local area police departments and law enforcement agencies. These agencies work in collaboration to provide unique, and highly specialized law enforcement resources including SWAT, Crowd Control, Search and Rescue, and K-9 support to member communities.
I am currently a member of FEMA’s Massachusetts Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team where I am assigned as a Canine Search Specialist and paired with a 5-year old Labrador retriever specially trained to detect victims buried in collapsed buildings and structures.
With my background in social work, I also work as part-time clinician with the Onsite Academy in Westminster, Mass., which is a non-profit, residential treatment and training center for critical incident stress management. Onsite Academy serves first responders, emergency service workers and military personnel suffering from stress related disorders.”
Whitty: What are your priorities for the coming months?
My primary goal in the first few months as Police Chief will be to build upon my foundational understanding of Ashland, build new relationships, enhance communication, and develop a strategic plan for the police department. I am also currently working to fill several vacancies within the police department, finalize preparations for the security of the 125th running of the Boston Marathon [on Monday, Oct. 11], and to plan the move of the Police Department into the new Public Safety Building within the next year or less. It’s something the men and women of the Police Department are extremely excited about.
Whitty: What about off hours?
I grew up in Plymouth, Mass., where my dad still resides. I have three sisters and several nieces and nephews. I currently live in the Town of Medway with my three Labrador retrievers: Phedra, Penny and Pharon. Outside of work I enjoy several hobbies including motorcycle riding, dog training, boxing, and Brazilian Jujitsu.