MILLBURY, Mass. — Residents of the town of Millbury turned out in large numbers to welcome new Police Chief Kenny Howell with an open house at the Asa Waters Mansion on Thursday night.
It wasn't only Millbury residents who came out to honor Howell. A large contingent of police officers from New Haven and Bridgeport, Conn.; Cambridge; and Massachusetts State Police as well as countless family, friends and public officials from Connecticut attended as well.
The Millbury Board of Selectmen held a brief open meeting in the mansion and officially voted to accept Howell as Millbury’s next police chief by an individual vote.
Howell was sworn in by Millbury Town Clerk Jayne Davolio, and his daughter pinned on his new badge as the Millbury chief. Howell’s family made their first trip to town, and they were welcomed by Board of Selectmen Chairman E. Bernard Plante, who said the town was looking forward to having the chief and his family live here.
Howell thanked the many people who have helped him in his career and asked for the town’s support in taking over the department. He spoke to his officers, many of whom were present, and asked just one thing of them: “Honor your Oath.” He also told his officers to get their rest, “because you’re going to need it.”
He spoke about many of the plans he has for community policing and being open and accountable to the public. Some of his plans involve splitting Millbury up into two districts and putting sergeants in charge of each district.
After taking part in a 45-minute reception line of residents, Howell said he was impressed by the turnout. “It is really nice to see so much of Millbury out here tonight as well as New Haven, Bridgeport and Cambridge Police Departments,” he said.
Howell added that he is looking forward to his new job. “I am, I look forward to the challenge, if it was the status quo, I may not have been as attracted to the job here, but because there was some issues, that makes the job all the challenging … and more rewarding.”
Howell’s first day on the job is Monday, Jan. 28.