Jeffrey D. Wagner
JAMESTOWN – Jamie Campbell was recently sitting at a local deli and watching a picturesque water view from the window.
Campbell, the newly appointed police chief, said that this was one of the many recent moments that he felt humbled and honored to be the town’s new police chief.
Campbell, previously a police lieutenant in Westerly for more than 22 years, was appointed in late September unanimously by the town council.
It’s safe to say he hit the ground running.
He resigned from Westerly on Sept. 24 and the very next day he was on his way to Jamestown with his new uniform in one hand and boots and equipment in the other.
“It’s been amazing,” he said.
Campbell said he was looking to further his career in law enforcement and was mulling over a prospect at the University of Rhode Island, as well as the Jamestown job.
Campbell said he knew the town administrator and one other police officer. He also is familiar with waterfront policing and the issues that come with it after serving for more than two decades in Westerly.
He noted that the population is smaller in Jamestown but his commitment and policing goals are still lofty.
Campbell, repeating some of his goals during the interview process, said that he wants to make sure all Jamestown residents go to sleep at night knowing that they are safe. His other goals include school safety, and ensuring his officers have the right training and equipment to do the job.
As far as the school piece, Campbell said he has been an active shooter instructor since 2007 so the school system should be in safe hands.
He is moving from a department with 52 officers to one with 14. He is hoping to regionalize some policing work with other communities, naming accident reconstruction as one such effort.
Campbell said he has also spent his first few weeks meeting with different business and shop owners, learning more about a community that he says has been nothing but welcoming.
“Jamestown is a very tight-knit community and I gathered that in the very first few weeks,” he said. “It’s an overwhelmingly welcoming community.”