Weston Police Chief Michael Goulding Announces Retirement
Weston Chief of Police Michael Goulding has announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2021, completing a 33-year career in law enforcement including almost seven years in Weston. Before coming to the semi-rural hotspot of criminal activity (this is a joke, folks), Chief Goulding worked in the City of Medford, leaving there as a Detective in March 2015.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision–I love my job,” said the Chief. “It can be exhausting and challenging, but best of all, it’s rewarding. I feel that policing has changed a lot and for the better, since I joined as a rookie in the late 1980s.”
“I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish in Weston–there have been lots of good changes. We really have a great group of people.”
During his tenure, Chief Goulding presided over the final touches to the new police station which opened in December of 2015. “The credit for the new police station goes to Chief Steven Shaw. He was able to advocate for the need and oversaw the planning. I am very proud of how the building turned out. I still have plenty of time to give tours!”
The personal tour the Owl received reminded her of just how tough it is to be an officer. A view of the armory showed that she had almost zero clue which guns were real and which were Airsoft. When the pandemic fades more, ask for a tour–there’s some cool stuff around there, if that’s your thing. Just looking at all the video cams in the dispatch center makes me dizzy. These folks work hard, and how…read the recent Owl on the missing person search.
There have been many challenging moments. In May 2020, the Chief issued a statement condemning the George Floyd killing, expressing how strongly he felt about the events. In June, 2020, the Chief and several officers joined the student-run Black Lives Matter march through Weston.
“I have always hoped that the Weston Police would be viewed as part of the community. It is essential that the police and community are on the same page . I feel the best way to accomplish this is through personal connections and partnerships. Building and maintaining trust is very important to me. I was, and am, always available for a chat about concerns, feedback, praise or criticism–it’s a small town and one I care a lot about.”
This of course brings up the usual Owl ramblings. I first met the Chief in the early spring of 2015, shortly after he was brought in as Chief. A post was published on the Weston Police facebook that I thought was culturally insensitive. When I sent in a comment, I almost immediately got a call saying “I want to hear more–can you come in for a chat?”
And so I did, and I gave the Chief my perspective as the wife and mom of Latinos, and the Chief listened, and asked some questions, and saw my point. And then we proceeded to chat about everything under the sun, and I think I wasted taxpayer-funded police hours–wait, just one.
After this conversation, I visited the police station maybe twice a year–a tour of the backrooms, an interview with Officer Rizzitello and Knox on the Wes-TEN and then on the Owl, a meeting of the facebook administrators with the Chief about various items… I think my favorite visit was when I was in Boston Logan Airport waiting for a flight with a college friend and the Chief, who was off to a hockey tournament with his daughter, came over for a quick chat while we had dinner. And my friend asked “you’re friends with the police chief?” and I said, proudly, “yes.”
The Owl shall miss the chats–K9 Knox is not nearly as talkative–but is hopeful that the Chief will still wander around Weston during retirement. After all, the owlets are in high school and I might need some help.
Thank you, Chief, for caring so much for Weston, its residents and visitors, and for all the years working for public safety.