Plainville gives send-off to police chief who served with the department for nearly 40 years
By Stephen Peterson – Attleboro Sun Chronicle
James Alfred has retired as police chief after 12 years at the helm of the department and nearly four decades as a member of it. Alfred's last official day on the job was June 12, but he has been helping out with the transition of Acting Police Chief James Floyd, who had been a lieutenant. Select board members and others honored Alfred for his service to the town at Monday's select board meeting. Alfred joined the department in 1984, was promoted from patrolman to sergeant a decade later, became a lieutenant in 2007, and was appointed chief in 2009. In a proclamation from the select board, Alfred was praised for his 38 years of dedication, high standards, professionalism, leading "by example," and being invaluable in challenging situations. "You've been a tremendous asset for this town," said select board Chairman Brian Kelly. He recognized Alfred for his work on the permanent building committee for the new public safety building and town hall, and helping steer the police department and town through the pandemic and budget crisis. "His focus all the time was on public safety," select board member Jeff Johnson said, thanking Alfred for his "tremendous insight." Select board member Stanley Widak said Alfred "brought honesty, compassion and quietness to the police department." The retiring chief was also singled out for his efforts in taking a regional approach to law enforcement, including the regional dispatch center in Norfolk. Alfred was handed a plaque from Norton Police Chief Brian Clark for his longtime involvement in the regional police consortium known as the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council, commonly referred to as Metro-LEC. Alfred was on its executive board for several years and in charge of the MetroLec Bicycle Patrol Unit. State Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, issued a citation from the House. "You truly exemplify what it means to be a public servant. You're going to be sorely missed," said Dooley, who has been a Plainville call firefighter. "I don't think people understand how much you did and were willing to sacrifice." Former selectman Charles Smith said Alfred "turned out to be a jewel" and even compared him to Gary Cooper. "This is a team effort," Alfred said, admitting he was overwhelmed. Several active and retired members of the local and area police departments were present. Alfred is continuing to serve the town as a special police officer as many department retirees do. He even worked a traffic detail on his first official day of retirement. "I'll do my best to make the town proud," Floyd said of succeeding Alfred. Alfred's departure comes just weeks after Fire Chief Justin Alexander left for the same post in Easton. Richard Ball, who had been deputy fire chief, is acting chief.