Landis sworn-in as Southwick’s police chief as Bishop takes his last call

Kevin A. Bishop makes his last call as Southwick’s Chief of Police June 30, 2021. (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

SOUTHWICK – On June 30 at 1600 hours, after 37 years of serving the town, Kevin A. Bishop had his last call from dispatch as Southwick’s police chief.

The dispatch call was made by his daughter Jessica, a firefighter/paramedic, who said it was an honor to send his last call as chief, and that while Bishop is known by many titles, the greatest is “Dad.”

Bishop responded to the call by thanking the community and later posted a letter on Facebook.

“This will be my last official post as your Police Chief,” he wrote. “I cannot thank you, the citizens of Southwick, for the great support you have given me over my 37 years of Law Enforcement here in Southwick. It has been a true honor to wear a Southwick Police badge for all those years.”

Bishop said policing can be a roller coaster.

Southwick’s new Police Chief Robert D. Landis is sworn-in by Town Clerk Michelle Hill June 30, 2021. (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

“Police work can emotionally bring you to the highest highs and the lowest lows. I have and always will choose to remember the high points of my career,” he stated. “Sometimes it was a simple hello or thank you from a child. Other times it was the handwritten thank you note that was sent to the station or a phone call or a letter from someone wishing to inform me that because of words or actions that I had with that person years ago truly made a difference in their life. These little things were the things that helped me to keep a positive outlook on life and on the job.”

Bishop said there are two statements he has made many times over the years and he shared them one last time: “There is no such thing as a bad kid, just a kid making bad decisions;” and “There are more good people in our society than bad.”

He said that despite all the negative things he has witnessed over the years, there is more good than bad in the world if you look for it.

“Even after all my years of service — and have seen some terrible things people can do to each other – I still wholeheartedly believe this statement to be the truth. I now leave you with many happy thoughts and I again thank you for the honor to have been able to serve you,” stated Bishop.

During his last call, Bishop also thanked his wife Carol and daughter as well as town officials and fellow officers, dispatchers and more. He ended his final call as chief with the same words he uses in his community letters — Be Safe. Be Strong. God Bless.

Before his last call, Bishop was sworn-in as a reserve officer, officers Michael Taggart and Roger Arduini were sworn-in as sergeants, and Rhett Bannish was sworn-in as lieutenant. Robert Landis was sworn-in as Southwick’s new police chief and assumed his duties immediately.

The town’s dispatch unit also took to social media to recognize Bishop and Landis.

“The Southwick Dispatchers wish you and your wife Carol health, happiness, and safe travels as you begin the next chapter of life. We thank for your effort to make our Dispatch Center a better place,” stated the unit. “You are leaving the Southwick Police Department in good hands as Chief Landis takes the reigns. Best of luck and don’t be a stranger. Your presence will be missed.”


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