SOUTHWICK – The Southwick Select Board Sept. 15 unanimously approved promoting Police Lt. Robert Landis to police chief when Chief Kevin A. Bishop retires in June.
Board Chairman Douglas Moglin carried over the discussion of Bishop’s replacement from old business to give board members time to reflect on how to approach naming the next chief.
Selectman Russell Fox made the motion to offer the position to Landis, noting he was a finalist in the last chief search. Fox said appointing him now “would give him the opportunity to work on the budget with the chief, which will be his budget.”
Fox said he wanted to promote Landis and give other officers the opportunity to move up.
Moglin said it was “a testament to the strength of the bench we have at the Southwick Police Department.”
“I think Lt. Landis will be an excellent chief,” Moglin said, adding that Bishop has “elevated the police department and taken it to the next level.”
Moglin said Landis will have big shoes to fill.
Selectman Joseph Deedy agreed, adding that he believes Landis has the “right shoe” for the job.
“I think [he] will do an excellent job,” said Deedy. “I think it’s a nice flow and a win-win for the town. We have a good team, and this is what we’re supposed to do . . . it’s the right thing to do.”
Bishop said he was happy with the decision.
“I fully support the board’s decision on the choice of Lt. Landis to replace me. I look forward to working with him over the next few months to prepare him to take over this position and I have full faith that he will do a great job for the police department and the town of Southwick,” Bishop said.
Bishop also encouraged the board to look at filling the lieutenant position because there was a “learning curve.” Landis was not present at the zoom board meeting Tuesday. He will be offered the position and negotiate with the town. Bishop is slated to retire June 30, 2021 at 4 p.m.