Skip to content




SHIRLEY — You’ll rarely see police Sgt. Peter Violette around town during the day, but you can rest assured he’s working hard overnight to ensure the safety of the community.

The Board of Selectmen appointed Violette to his position July 24 with the support of police Chief Paul Thibodeau after the budget to fund the corporal’s promotion passed at the annual town meeting in June.

Since then, Violette said, it’s been business as usual at his new post.

“Nothing really changes,” said Violette, but that isn’t to say he’s not working hard.

In fact, Violette, who was promoted to corporal in 2003, is one of a few officers that have achieved 100-percent attendance, said police Chief Paul Thibodeau.

“He’s a guy you can depend on,” he said.

Violette leads by example and seems to have a natural supervisory ability, said Thibodeau.

“He sets standards high for himself, and he expects that of the people he supervises,” he said.

“It’s something I take pride in,” Violette responded.

Violette plans to keep doing what he claims to have gotten “a lot of mileage” from — treating people with the utmost respect.

“I’ve always gone on that philosophy,” said Violette.

On a typical night, he arrives at the station at 11 p.m. and checks the paperwork to see if there is anything to follow up on from the previous shifts. Violette said he never gets used to the unconventional hours, but they come with the job.

He said it’s his responsibility to make sure all of the work done during his shift is done efficiently.

Although Violette said his immediate responsibilities haven’t changed a great deal, over the years his job has become more involved.

He started his first job as an officer in 1987 at 20 years old. Before coming to Shirley in 1996, Violette said he’d served as a police officer in Ashby, Ashburnham and Rindge, N.H.

He also served as a campus police officer at Fitchburg State College where he said he gained a lot of good experience.

Over time, Violette said, the calls have become more complex, and police deal more often with social issues.

The people and the demographics have changed as well, Violette said.

“You have to change with it,” he said. “It’s quite the responsibility, actually.”

As for other responsibilities, Violette often investigates the major incidents in town, according to Thibodeau.

In 2001 Violette solved four housebreaks, said Thibodeau. In the same year, with a community policing grant, Violette ran the Junior Police Academy for seventh- and eighth-graders.

Violette said he attended a basic sergeant’s class through the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council this May.

He hopes to be the best leader for the officers as well, he said.

“I want to do what’s best for (those) in the department and work with them as a team,” he said.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.