Shippee has been a part of Charlestown law enforcement for the last 30 years, spending one as a reserve officer and the last 29 as a full-timer. He was appointed chief in 2009. In an email to the The Chariho Times this week, Shippee said he would like to discover some new challenges, but is looking forward to taking the summer off to spend with his family.
“I have met some wonderful families and friends in town over the past years,” Shippee wrote. “Both in their best times and some at their worst, but I will always be grateful for having the pleasure to know them.”
“People ask me how I like being chief, my standard and true answer is: I have some great guys, it makes it easy. I work with some terrific men and women, past and present,” he continued.
Acting Town Administrator Pat Anderson said that the town council will discuss the next chief of Charlestown police during executive session at the next meeting, Monday night, May 14. She also offered parting comments for Shippee.
“I wish him the best and I’m happy for him,” she said. “We are all going to miss him.”
Shippee said that because of changes in the state and town benefits systems, he found this time to be the most logical for him to retire.
Reflecting on a long career in Charlestown, Shippee remembers when he was first hired full-time and the department became 24/7. He disclosed that there was no minimum staffing for the department back then, so if someone was on vacation or out sick, there may have only been one officer working.
“The town was much quieter and everyone knew each other,” according to Shippee. “This was pre-911 emergency. Most houses did not have numbers so many responses were by landmark.–such as ‘three houses past the burned out chimney.’”
For more information, pick up a copy of The Chariho Times.