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Milford's police chief keeps focus on community
Milford Police Chief Michael Viola has made it through his first year and is enjoying his tenure as head of the department. (NANCY BEAN FOSTER PHOTO)
Viola, who came to Milford last summer from the Fort Myers Police Department in Florida, said his first year wasn’t without its challenges.
White, 52, disappeared from her home on August 5, 2012, causing her family to file a missing person’s report with the police. Over the course of the next several days, extensive searches were conducted in the woods in and around Milford by both police and volunteers. But on August 10, White’s body was found in a large utility box on the side of one of the school district’s trucks. White had apparently crawled into the box and perished in the heat.
But in between the big stories that hit the news, there have been numerous drug arrests, said Viola.
The chief said he’s also trying to continue building relationships with town officials, other departments, and most importantly, the community. There are three active Neighborhood Watch groups in town, and the department just held its first Citizens Police Academy organized by Sgt. Matthew Fiffield.
For Ellen Works, who serves as Viola’s administrative assistant just as she had for former Chief Frederick Douglas who retired last year, the transition has been a smooth one.
Viola said his family has settled in nicely in New Hampshire, and though working in Milford is a lot different from working in a bigger city like Fort Myers, many of the challenges of enforcing the laws and keeping the community safe are the same no matter where he is. Fortunately, he’s had a “very knowledgeable staff who have accepted me and worked with me.”
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