Blandford welcomes new police chief month after whole department resigned

Hampden County

BLANDFORD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new police chief has been appointed in Blandford, just over a month after the town’s entire police department resigned.

Town Administrator Joshua Garcia told 22News selectmen chose Daniel Ilnicky as the new police chief out of a field of 15 applicants.

Garcia said Ilnicky brings 30 years of law enforcement experience to Blandford.

Read more: Blandford police department resigns

“His technical abilities to perform administrative and operational tasks, strategies to navigate small town local government complexities to build capacity and meet needs, and his desire to implement a model of community policing were just some of the few strongest qualities that made Daniel the best candidate for the job,” Garcia said.

Ilnicky started earlier this week. He replaces former police chief Roberta Sarnacki, who announced the four-member department’s resignation on July 30.

Sarnacki cited things like inadequate staffing, poor pay, and the quality of equipment as the reasoning behind their resignation.

Town administrator Garcia told 22News Ilnicky’s first priority is to assess the needs of the 
department, including whether or not the town should hire more officers.

In a statement sent to 22News, Ilnicky said he is looking forward to working with town leaders.

“I believe Blandford deserves a police department that serves the needs of residents with integrity, professionalism and respect. My past administrative experience, along with my knowledge of patrol procedures will benefit the town. I will be spending my time assessing each area of the department, from equipment to personnel, and will be working with the Select Board to build a respected department.”

Since July 30, all coverage has been handled by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Russell barracks. Garcia said state police have always provided coverage to the town, even prior to the department’s resignation.

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