Lebanon police chief to retireBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
November 14. 2012 11:24AM
LEBANON - Police Chief M. James Alexander has announced his plans to retire in February.
Alexander has been with the department for 23 years and has served as a police officer for a total of 26 years.
"The Upper Valley is a great area to work in, and I have enjoyed my time interacting with the various members of the community and area. I want to thank the many citizens, friends and associates for their support of myself and the agency over the years. I am very proud of the members of the Lebanon Police and the professionalism and competency they bring to the citizens and visitors of Lebanon. I will always be very proud of this group of men and women," Alexander said in a news release on Tuesday announcing his departure.
Alexander started his career in police work at the age of 18 in Brattleboro, Vt.
He joined the Lebanon force three years later and was promoted to chief seven years ago.
On Wednesday, Alexander said he is sad to be leaving because he loves what he does, but it is time to move on and he is excited about finding a new career.
"I'm only 44, and my wife and I have always talked about once I hit 45 I would remake myself and see what else is out there," Alexander said.
He said based on the stability and competency of the department, it is a great time to step down.
"I'm thrilled. It's a great department, great people, supportive city council. It's a great time to wrap it up," Alexander said. "It is a great solid police agency, and whoever walks in here is getting the best police department in the state."
Alexander said there are several aspects of the department he is proud to have played a part in creating.
He has worked with the Grafton County Drug Court to provide nonviolent felons who are addicts with an intensive treatment and supervision program. Though he was skeptical of the program when his predecessor appointed him eight years ago, it has worked, he said. "I'm very proud of the success and changing people lives. We've maintained public safety, and I think it's a great program."
He also worked with former state police head Fred Booth to create a Tactical Containment Team in Lebanon.
Community relations, though, tops his list, he said.
"I'm most proud of the fact that these are the type of policemen you want in your living room at two o'clock in the morning," Alexander said. "They understand life and how it's sometimes very complicated."
On Wednesday, City Manager Greg Lewis was away at a conference but had posted an early morning blog saying, "Chief Jim Alexander will always be the best there is, the best there ever will be!"
"Jim is at the top of my top 10 lists for managers with whom I have worked and over whom I have supervised in my 25-year local government manager career. He has great observation skills and is a model for how an organizational leader should manage human resources and operations: empowering others while holding them accountable for producing the outcomes sought and practicing high ethics. He demands of himself and others high standards for character and competency. I trust Jim and his trustworthiness will never disappoint any organization lucky enough in the future to become associated with him," he wrote.