Greenfield police chief to remain at helm despite summer resignation 

  • Brian Giammarino File photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, January 15, 2018 5:32PM

The Greenfield police chief will continue in the department’s top slot despite handing in a resignation letter last year. 

Chief Brian Giammarino notified the town last year that he planned to retire after 14 years leading the department. 

“The board is pleased that the chief has decided to stay on,” Margaret Charig Bliss, select board chair, said in a press release.

Giammarino’s decision to step away from the post occurred about a year after he fired a fatal shot that killed 19-year-old Lane Lesko at the end of a high-speed chase along Route 136. Twenty-nine days after the 2016 incident that killed the Michigan teen, the state’s Attorney General’s office ruled that the shooting was legally justified.

Giammarino announced his intent to retire in the spring/ summer of 2017. He agreed to stay on as the department’s leader until a new chief had been named. 

A search committee comprised of local residents and area law enforcement officials had whittled down applications for the job and submitted its recommendations to the select board when the search was abruptly postponed. Right around the same time, a stray bullet struck Sgt. Glenn Roberge’s home window. Select board member Stephen Atherton and a handful of other people were shooting guns on a piece of property off of Forest Road that day in early October. In an interview after the incident, Atherton said the bullet that hit Roberge’s window could have been from a .380 caliber handgun he was using that day. After an investigation, a state police trooper determined “there was no criminal aspect” in relation to the incident. 

At the time, Charig Bliss said she couldn’t confirm whether the postponed police chief search and the stray-bullet incident were connected. 

There hasn’t been much word about the police-chief search since. Charig Bliss declined to comment on several occasions about the status of the process.

On Monday afternoon, Charig Bliss called the Ledger-Transcript with the news that Giammarino planned to remain in his position as chief.

“The committee did excellent work and presented us with a fine roster of applicants,” Charig Bliss said the release. “But in the end, we had the right person right here already.” 

The Ledger-Transcript wasn’t able to reach Giammarino on Monday. 

Giammarino became a police officer in 1986 and has served in Greenfield for more than 16 years, 14 of which have been as chief. Giammarino has served with the U.S. Marshals Service as a special deputy since 1998 and also served abroad in the Peace Corps, according to the release. 

“We feel Chief Giammarino brings a unique set of attributes to the force, from his ability to serve as prosecutor to his understanding of the needs of a small town police force,” said Charig Bliss. “The board believes Chief Giammarino has the best experience and is the embodiment of community policing.” 

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or akessler@ledgertranscript.com.