Deputy Chief Timothy Hanlon would like to announce the retirement today of Whitman Police Chief Scott D. Benton after a 33-year career in law enforcement.
"I have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to work my way up the ranks from auxiliary police officer to chief and spend my whole career working for my hometown police department," Chief Benton said. "I would like to think that I was a policeman who just became a chief for a while. I have always taken great pride in being a police officer and serving the people who entrust us with keeping them safe and secure. It is a very honorable profession and I am deeply grateful for my career."
Chief Benton grew up in Whitman and graduated from Whitman-Hanson Regional High School in 1982. He studied law enforcement at Massasoit Community College and holds a bachelor's degree in law enforcement from Western New England College. In 2014, he earned his master's degree in criminal justice from Curry College.
Throughout the years, Chief Benton fulfilled several roles and responsibilities for the WPD including: sergeant, detective, shift supervisor, evidence officer, liquor license inspection agent, police prosecutor and deputy chief. He was named chief in 2012.
He was also the town's first DARE officer, he served as a control chief for the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) Motorcycle Operations Patrol Unit, served on the Plymouth County Police Chief's Drug Task Force, was a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, was deputy director of security for the Whitman Emergency Management Agency and was a member of the Police Station Building Committee.
During his time as chief, Chief Benton is proud to have made several improvements to the equipment and technology used by the department including firearms, introducing Tasers, upgrading portables and upgrading radio communications from analog to digital.
One of his favorite highlights of his career was when he attended the FBI National Academy in 2009.
In retirement, Chief Benton plans to spend more time with his family, play more golf and travel. He also plans to do part-time work in the private sector.
Chief Benton and his wife, Kathie, have four children: Ryan Benton, age 28, who is a Whitman firefighter, Meghan Benton, age 27, Jillian Benton, age 23 and Kenny Benton, age 13.
"I'm happy to be retiring on my own terms and I feel good knowing that I’ve done it my way," Chief Benton said. "But, I’m not the only one that’s been on this journey. My family has had to live it too. My kids. My wife. I’m fortunate that my wife is as strong as she is and was always there and supportive. This is just as much her retirement as it is mine and I'm looking forward to spending more time with her and our children."
Following his retirement, Deputy Chief Hanlon will take over duties as chief with Sgt. Joseph Bombardier taking over the role of deputy chief.
"I'm going to miss the connections and some of the lifelong relationships that I've made over the years," Chief Benton said. "Especially when it comes to the people I work with. Tim Hanlon and I have shared many professional and personal moments together and he has become a very dear friend. He is someone that I have a great amount of respect and admiration for as well as being the person that I could always count on. I was very lucky to have had him as deputy chief and the town is in great hands knowing that he will take over as chief once I'm gone."
There are several people Chief Benton would like to personally thank and recognize who have supported him throughout the years:
Katrina Patton served as Chief Benton's administrative assistant and he said she is the most valuable person in the building. "I always used to tell people that Katrina is really the chief and I just sit in the chief’s office. There is no question in my mind that without her professionalism, dedication and expertise I would never have survived in my position as chief," Chief Benton said.
Whitman Fire Chief Timothy Grenno - "I was very fortunate to work beside Fire Chief Tim Grenno, who has become a very good friend. He is, without question, one of the most consummate professionals in public safety and he never failed to provide clear solutions and direction to whatever incident or situation that we were dealing with," Chief Benton said. "The Town of Whitman is very lucky to have him
and I know that he and Tim Hanlon will make a great team."
Sergeant Harry D. Bates - "Sgt. Bates was instrumental in my career. He listened to a kid who had a dream to be a police officer and he put me in a position to realize that dream. Over the years his advice and wisdom was invaluable to me and more importantly he treated me like a son and I will be forever grateful for that.
Richard Rosen - "Rich has been a great supporter and friend who has given me perspective when dealing with certain issues that only he can. He was a selectman and is very active on many committees as well as being a very successful business owner. He is also a lifelong resident of Whitman. He was able to provide sound advice because he certainly has the background and has seen it all. I greatly appreciate his support over the years as well as his friendship."
Whitman IT Director Josh MacNeil - "In public safety, technology is one of our most important resources and something that we must have at all times to ensure officer safety," Chief Benton said. "Without IT Director Josh MacNeil the police department would have been devastated in the area of technology infrastructure and communications. I believe the most important and impactful hire for the Town
of Whitman in at least the last 10 years was Josh. His knowledge, tireless dedication, devotion and professionalism is unparalleled. I am very fortunate that I got to work with Josh and he is someone who I consider a close friend."
Paul Benton, Chief Benton's Father - "Today is also bittersweet because my dad is not here. I chose his birthday to retire because I know that he would have liked that. He passed away last October and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him a hundred times a day, but I know that he is looking down with a smile on his face."
Other people that Chief Benton would like to thank are Lt. Christine MayStafford, Records Clerk Tracy Briggs, Matron and Clerk of the Works Joyce Gunter, Auxiliary Supervisor John Cannizzo, Joe Gilder and Benjamin Paulin and the team at John Guilfoil Public Relations.
"It’s the people that you work with that help you be successful and I am very fortunate to have so many people who have helped me along the way," Chief Benton said.