Acting police chief in Great Barrington named police chief

Berkshire County

(Photo: Great Barrington PD)

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Acting Police Chief Paul Storti has been appointed as the chief of police for the town of Great Barrington.

According to the Great Barrington Police Department, 53-year old Storti, who has been with the department for 26 years, was the only internal job candidate.

“After interviewing three finalists for the position, Paul Storti emerged easily as the very best candidate to build on the progressive groundwork laid by Chief Walsh,” Town Manager Mark Pruhenski said referring to retired Police Chief William R. Walsh Jr.

Pruhenski also said that Storti has earned the respect of other officers and has been a leader in advocating for a department open to change and 21st-century policing practices.

Storti was born and raised in Housatonic and now lives in Great Barrington with his family. He has been serving as acting chief since December 23, when Chief William R. Walsh Jr. retired after 40 years on the job. He joined the GBPD in 1995 as a full-time officer after working part-time in neighboring towns.

The Great Barrington Police Department said he’s also been a volunteer coach and referee for community and school sports teams.

“I’m excited and ready for this challenge. I have big shoes to fill, but Chief Walsh mentored me and gave me the tools to bring the department to its next level,” Sorti said.

The police department said Storti’s priorities as chief are the following:

  • More focus on mental health in the community and among first responders
  • Diversity in hiring and new methods of traffic enforcement, as traffic matters pose quality of life issues for many town residents
  • He is developing a new department position which is community outreach and education officer and will act as a liaison with area groups and residents, with the goal of expanding GBPD communications with underrepresented citizens and various groups and individuals that make up the local community

Sorti was among 30-plus candidates screened by a Police Chief Search Committee, comprised of town residents and led by the recruiting firm Community Paradigm Associates LLC, headquartered in Plymouth.

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