Position Vacant For Over a Year
After close to 19 years on the Randolph Police Department, Sgt. Loretta Stalnaker is taking a new job in a new town and gaining a new title—chief of police— starting in early July.
Royalton officials announced yesterday that Stalnaker has been hired to fill the top post in its town-wide police department. Royalton has been without a chief of police since last April, when former Chief James Beraldi resigned. Beraldi, who had been hired to fill the post vacated by Royalton’s longtime chief, Bob Hull, stepped down after less than one year on the job.
Sgt. Stalnaker said yesterday that she will start her new job July 9. The Royalton PD now has just one officer, Gary Rogler, but it is possible that the force will expand to one full-time officer plus two part-timers, she said.
Stalnaker said she told Randolph Police Chief Dan Brunelle that she would stay on the force through Randolph’s busy Fourth of July holiday.
“I really enjoyed the community here, and all the support the community has given me over the last year,” she said. “I hope I can take my community orientation to Royalton and work some magic there.”
Stalnaker said that she and her husband Craig will continue to live in East Randolph.
Randolph officials took some heated criticism from residents in early 2017, after it became clear that they were not considering Stalnaker as a candidate to replace former Chief James Krakowiecki.
Strong community support for Stalnaker included a January 2017 petition signed by more than 500 residents requesting that Stalnaker be promoted to chief of police. However, last spring, Brunelle, then a sergeant with the South Burlington PD, was hired as Randolph’s chief.
According to a press release from the Royalton Selectboard, Stalnaker’s hiring “concludes an extensive search” by a five-member committee.
Stalnaker “uses a community policing model as her guide,” the release noted, an approach to law enforcement that relies on “partnerships and problem-solving techniques.”
She holds multiple certifications, including as a firearms instructor and in a school safety protocol called ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate). Stalnaker is also a sergeant and military police officer with the Vermont National Guard.
She said this week that she will continue to teach the LEAD (Law Enforcement Against Drugs) program in area schools, and hopes to bring the program to Royalton. The town will host a reception for Stalnaker in July, according to the press release.