City Manager April Lynch has announced that Captain Vincent Palazzolo will be named the new Police Chief for the City of Ferndale. Palazzolo is a 23-year veteran of the Ferndale Police Department, serving as Patrol Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and most recently as Captain. He will be the Department’s seventeenth Chief of Police.
The announcement follows a formal departmental review and release of an official Assessment and Action Plan report by organizational consulting form KRW Associates. The City engaged the Colorado-based firm in May of 2018 to conduct a review of the Department’s policies, protocols, and trainings following a period of credibility concerns.
In July, KRW delivered their final analysis with a 25-point set of recommendations for the Department. Their number-one recommendation: select and appoint a new Chief of Police, with Palazzolo named as the candidate of choice.
“Chief Palazzolo is a dedicated and trustworthy public servant who has been steadfastly working for this community since 1995,” said Ferndale City Manager April Lynch, who appointed Palazzolo with unanimous support by City Council. “I’m positive that he’ll provide the strength, integrity, and modern leadership we envision for our community.”
Palazzolo brings to the position more than two decades of highly decorated experience. In addition to his work for the Department, Palazzolo:
Additionally, Palazzolo spearheaded the department's community engagement focus, including the addition of a community engagement officer position. He adheres to the six pillars of community policing set forth by the President’s task force on 21st Century Policing. His vision for a modern police department is performance with the highest integrity, ensuring that officers and staff operate efficiently and make smart decisions, safely, ethically, and morally.
In their report, KRW stated: “We have conducted searches for executive-level employees for the past 12 years and are very familiar with the skills, experience, and abilities necessary to be a successful police chief. If a national search was warranted, we would make such a recommendation. That is not the case. The KRW Team was impressed with Interim Chief Palazzolo’s credibility and support, as well as his outstanding grasp of department and community issues. We are convinced he has the skills to be a successful Chief.”
With a leadership plan in place, Lynch will be working with Palazzolo and his team to review KRW’s other recommendations and create plans for addressing training and policy change needs.
The remaining recommendations include use of force policy review and training series; a new mission, vision, and core values statement; a refresh of recruitment initiatives and a mentoring program to attract qualified and diverse applicants; the implementation of a citizen satisfaction survey; and several internal and policing-focused procedure changes.
KRW’s overarching assessment was that the Ferndale Police Department is a contemporary, well equipped, and well-staffed police agency with talented and professional employees. They concluded that while the Department has issues that require attention, they believe that the issues are attainable with vigilance and authenticity going forward.
Chief Palazzolo will be sworn in and accept the oath in a public ceremony and celebration on Tuesday, Sept. 18 from 6-7 p.m. at Ferndale City Hall. The City invites all to attend, witness the ceremonies, meet Chief Palazzolo, and enjoy light refreshments. For more information, see the Facebook event.