Norfolk Police Chief Charles Stone Retires Following 50-Year Career with Town
Photo Courtesy Norfolk Police Department.
After a half-century of dedicated service to the town of Norfolk, Norfolk Police Chief Charles “Chuck” Stone retired on Saturday, Sept. 10, his 70th birthday.
His passion for the Norfolk Police Department drove him to obtain a state waiver, which allowed him to continue serving as Chief past the age of 65, which is typically the state’s mandatory retirement age for police. His nearly 30 years as Chief places him among the longest-serving police chiefs in Massachusetts history.
Chief Stone was born and raised in Norfolk. He began his career with the town in 1973, working for the Water Department as a laborer and meter reader while studying criminal justice at Northeastern University.
In 1975, he was appointed as a call firefighter with the Norfolk Fire Department. He obtained his EMT certification the next year, which allowed him to perform ambulance duty and respond to emergency calls.
Inspired by his criminal justice classes, Chief Stone became a Norfolk Police Officer in 1976. He was promoted to the rank of Detective in 1982, Sergeant in 1985, and Lieutenant later in 1985. He completed these duties while simultaneously serving as a part-time EMT for the Fire Department, and he continued working for the Water Department for many years.
Chief Stone’s career shifted to focus solely on policing when he was named Police Chief in 1993, officially assuming the role on Jan. 1, 1994.
During his tenure, Chief Stone witnessed many changes in the Police Department and to American policing in general. Under his leadership, the department expanded from 11 to 22 officers. Chief Stone also oversaw the advent of connected policing with new technologies like electronic reporting and computers in police cars. Even the officers’ duty belt and equipment they carry changed and evolved.
While Chief, he upheld a relentless commitment to training and professional standards, ensuring that officers received top-level training and held college degrees. Along with holding a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University, Chief Stone also holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University.
“It has been a true pleasure serving Norfolk and its residents beside the many dedicated members of the Norfolk Police Department for the past five decades, and I retire knowing that I am leaving the Department in excellent hands,” Chief Stone said. “Thank you to all the public safety and town officials who I’ve had the honor of knowing throughout my career. I’ve loved working with all the town administrators, select boards and committees in town, making many friends along the way, while also working alongside friends that I grew up with.”
Lt. Timothy Heinz succeeded Chief Stone as Police Chief, and Sgt. Michelle Palladini was selected as Deputy Police Chief. A swearing-in ceremony took place Monday, September 12. Palladini is the agency’s first female deputy.
“It has been an honor serving beside Chief Stone over the years. Watching how he has successfully led the Department, and learning from him along the way, has been a privilege,” Lt. Heinz said. “I am excited to apply this knowledge and experience as the next Police Chief, and wish Chief Stone the very best as he enters this new chapter of his life.”
Additionally, Sgt. Eric VanNess has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, Detective Sam Webb to Sergeant, Officer James Lorusso to Detective, and Officer Joseph Choiniere to Sergeant. New Patrol Officers Steven Hamilton and Gino Locchi were also sworn in on September 12.
Chief Stone looks forward to spending more time with his fiancée Christine and his granddaughter Caitlin, who resides with them, his daughter Lauren and partner Justin, his son Chuck and daughter-in-law Jodi and their children Sydney, Lindi and Eadie, as well as his three stepchildren: Brittany and her husband Brandon and their two children Dustin and Alaina; Cassandra; and Michael and his fiancée Mackenzie.