News Flash

City of Winooski News Updates

Posted on: September 14, 2023

Press Release: Retirement Announcement for Rick Hebert, Chief of Police

PD Press Release

It is with great recognition and congratulations that the City of Winooski announces the retirement of our Chief of Police, Rick Hebert, effective December 1st, 2023. We are immensely proud of his ~30 years of dedicated service and leadership to Winooski’s residents, visitors, city staff, and elected officials. Chief Hebert started in 1996 as an officer, working up through the ranks of Sergeant, Interim Deputy Chief, Interim Chief, then officially becoming the Chief of Police in 2014. His commitment to making real the community’s values in the Winooski Police Department has been commendable. This has included cultivating the culture and practices of community policing throughout the department, bringing and maintaining the Community Outreach program that allows social workers to respond with or independently of Winooski police officers to calls as appropriate, and shepherding the City’s adoption of a Fair and Impartial Policing Policy.

“After much consideration, I have decided that it is the right time to retire from my career in law enforcement. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the residents of Winooski and I am so grateful for the opportunity. Many thanks to the City Manager, Mayor, and City Councilors who first entrusted me with leading the department and to everyone who followed throughout my career. I am confident that our department of talented professionals will do an amazing job in providing the same level of excellent service between my departure and the hiring of a new Chief and beyond. It is this fact, paired with our investments in Winooski’s shared community vision, that makes the difficult decision to retire that much easier. I am humbled by the countless law enforcement colleagues and agencies for their years of unwavering community support and wish everyone all the best.”

- Rick Hebert, Chief of Police

“I am thankful for Chief Hebert’s years of professionalism, respect, integrity, and care. His focus on community policing, mental health response, and maintaining departmental trust with our neighbors continues to guide a public safety culture that makes Winooski such an amazing place. Chief Hebert’s service has meant a lot to this community. As Mayor, I’ve heard so many incredible stories from our neighbors about their public safety experiences – his legacy of unrivaled work ethic, optimism, and friendship leaves some big shoes to fill, but also the expectation of excellence in a Police Chief that our community deserves. Thank you, Chief Hebert, and enjoy your retirement journey!”

- Mayor Kristine Lott

"Per Chief Hebert’s request, the City of Winooski will honor his accomplishments and bid him a fond farewell on a more personal level, forgoing larger, public gestures – which is unsurprising coming from someone who has dedicated so much of their life to public service. Chief Hebert wishes to convey his thanks for everyone’s kind words. Looking ahead, I understand how impactful the role of Police Chief is in our community. Hiring the right one for Winooski is one of the most important decisions I am responsible for, so I am taking great care with the hiring process for a new Chief. My current steps include:

  • Posting a Request for Qualifications to our bid page to partner with an executive search firm and the official employment opportunity will be listed on our jobs page.
  • Formed an Advisory Committee comprised of a cross section of City staff as well as South Burlington Police Chief Shawn Burke. The Advisory Committee will review the community input process and provide other advice from their various perspectives to me on this critical hire.
  • Considering the best ways to provide meaningful and accessible opportunities for community input.

Please stay tuned for input opportunities on what Winooski needs in our next Police Chief by signing up for our news updates and meeting announcements."

 - Elaine Wang, City Manager

Facebook Twitter Email