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Tuesday August 22, 2017 Edition
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Local Police Chief Retires With 52 Years In Uniform

Wearing a police uniform for 52 years was more an a career for James Warden. It was a statement of his faith in people, the law, and in the due process of change in both.
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Wearing a police uniform for 52 years was more an a career for James Warden. It was a statement of his faith in people, the law, and in the due process of change in both.

Tuesday August 22, 2017

By Cookie Steponaitis

Chief James W. Warden has been looking out for the homes, residents and businesses of Shelburne since 1987. He started on the job thirty years ago and has decided to retire but not without a send-off that will be remembered by the community for a long time. Warden worked his way up from patrolman, Corporal, Sergeant, Detective, Juvenile Officer and Chief and has witnessed the evolution of many practices in police work and supports the relationships made in the community which are the backbone of how successful departments work. The Warden’s phone and email have been going at warp speed as generations of Vermonters send thanks, share memories and ideas for the next phase of Warden’s career.
   Whether it is the communications center in Shelburne that started serving five agencies and now serves thirty-two making it one of the largest E-911 hubs in the state or the growth of Neighborhood Watch programs, Warden was always looking for a way to connect the public with the police department and Police Chief. Warden was continually present at programs linked to children, has fingerprinted thousands, worked graduation challenges, bike races, Shelburne Museum Events, fireworks, Harvest Festivals, parades and even took on the role of Old St. Nick to help bring Christmas magic to generations.  His dog classes continue to be packed and people who are also in the horse world know that his skills, hands and incredible set of knowledge was never more than a call away.  
   At the heart of Warden’s impact and legacy are the men and women who have served under his leadership. Many were present at the community celebration and stopped to shake his hand and some gave a formal salute of thanks. Warden was moved by the show of support and thanked the communities in Addison County for their cards, calls, comments and messages that have come in from all over the states.
   Warden will continue to serve in an advisory role with the Shelburne Police Department for the remainder of 2017 and 2018 and those depending on finding the ‘dog whisperer’ at his normal training classes will not be disappointed. While one phase of his career comes to a close, Jim Warden is already looking at the projects to be done, dogs to be trained and perhaps even a book about his career. Warden has been approached by a local writer to ghost collaborate on the project. While it will be business as usual in Shelburne this next week one fact remains certain. The people of the state owe an incredible debt to those who put their lives on the line in service to others every day. James Warden’s career represents fifty-two years of service to others and hundreds celebrated with him. The Valley Voice honors and thanks Chief James Warden.         

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