Vermont native joins ranks of Williston Police

July 31, 2008
By Marianne Apfelbaum
Observer staff 

“It's kind of like the Wild West up there.”

That's how the newest member of the Williston Police force describes the setting of his previous job.

Officer Joshua Moore, 24, joined the Williston Police Department last week after two years working in St. Albans City, where he said, “It was violent … lots of domestics, fights with knives, guns and bats. You had to be on your toes.”

Moore is excited to be in a new town, one that is placing an increasing emphasis on community policing and service. But he is not naïve about the realities of police work, no matter where you are.

“Just because it is Williston doesn't mean there are not bad people and bad things going on,” he said.

Indeed, Williston's weekly police log is filled with everything from burglaries to fights to DUIs, but the variety is one of the things Moore enjoys most about police work.

Contributed photo
Williston’s newest police officer, Joshua Moore, gets sworn in last week by Town Clerk Deb Beckett.

“I like going to work and not knowing what is going to happen,” Moore said with a smile last week while on duty at the station. “I can't sit around and do a desk job.”

His ambition and dedication to community service run in the family. His father is the founder and director of an alternative high school in Barre and his mother is a nurse at Fletcher Allen Health Care. One of his two sisters is a student, while the other works for the American Cancer Society in Washington, D.C.

A native son, Moore grew up in Jericho and currently lives in Colchester with his wife, Kathryn. He received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Castleton State College and graduated from the Vermont Police Academy in 2006.

Graduation was a significant milestone for Moore, who had always wanted to be in law enforcement. As a youngster, Moore “knew lots of police officers and really looked up to them,” he said.

Moore chose Williston as the next step in his career because “it is one of the best police departments I know of in the state. It has lots of respect from other departments.” He also noted the positive attitude of his co-workers and the town as a whole.

“You can tell from this facility (the relatively new police headquarters), and the police officers' attitudes, it seems like everyone wants to be here,” he said, adding, “It makes your job easier when you have support from the community.”

With the hiring of Moore, the police department is now fully staffed, albeit without Police Chief Jim Dimmick in the office. As reported in the Observer last week, Dimmick is recuperating from a stroke he suffered on July 12 while vacationing in New York. Town Manager Rick McGuire and Detective Sgt. Bart Chamberlain are filling in temporarily until more is known about when Dimmick might return to full-time duty.

Chamberlain is happy to have Moore on board to help. He praised Moore's professionalism and thinks he will be a “good fit” for Williston. “He is very service-oriented. He is compassionate and I like the way he relates to the public,” Chamberlain said.

Chamberlain also noted Moore's track record with his previous employer.

“He is extremely well thought of in St. Albans City. He was recently promoted there to detective, which is virtually unheard of (after such a short time). They recognized his potential.”

Moore said he felt coming to Williston and policing a larger area represented a lateral move in his career, one that will allow him to focus more on community outreach.

Among others, Moore credits his father with the advice that set him up for success. “Hard work goes a long way,” Moore said his father always told him. “It has for me so far.”