Message from the Chief

In February of 2005, I had the distinct honor of being appointed the thirteenth Chief of Police for the Canton Police Department.  It was a privilege for me to be chosen to represent the residents, business owners and my fellow officers in this capacity.   In preparation for my “swearing in” ceremony,   I wrote and delivered the following speech. I am confident, that after reading it, you will be able to envision my commitment to Canton in all aspects of thought, word and action.


Thank you all for coming tonight to help me share this joyous occasion. When I look out at all of you, I am humbled.  I see family and friends. I see colleagues from Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies, as well as members from our public safety partners, the Canton Fire Department. I see many citizens of our community and representatives from local businesses who have become our corporate partners over the years. I see our esteemed Board of Selectmen and other elected officials of our government.  And, I see the dedicated men and women of the Canton Police Department who so unselfishly serve by my side on a daily basis.  I thank you all for coming to share this honor  with me,: however, I need to make one thing clear:


This night is not about me, it is about each of you.  You see, I would not  be standing up here tonight if it were not for every one of you.  Somewhere along the line, you said something that affected the way I think, or did something that helped to make me the person I am.  Maybe you encouraged me when I was having a hard time mastering a skill.  Maybe it was you who challenged me to try harder  when I was getting ready to settle, or made me focus when the path was not so clear.  Whatever the lesson was that you taught, or  the deed was that you did, the fact that you are present tonight allows me the opportunity to publicly pin this badge on for you.
There are others who are missing tonight that have left their mark upon me.  I pin this badge on for Earl Newhouse, who taught me that you don’t need Stripes, Bars or Stars to be a leader.  I pin this badge on for mentors like Lt. Tom  McDonnell and Supervisory Special Agent Time Turner.


I pin this badge on for my son Ben and your children.


I pin this badge on for people that I have never met, like Chief John Plunkett, the first Police Chief for the Town of Canton.  I can only hope that I live up to his vision and expectations. 


I pin this badge on, hoping that it will allow me to execute the duties and responsibilities as Chief of Police, with the command presence of Chief Bill Whitty,the dedication to duty of Chief Dan Keleher, the lasting legacy of Chief John Ruane Sr., who was also father of the 10th Chief, John Ruane Jr., the warm smile of Chief Joseph Buckley and the decency and compassion of Chief Peter Bright.  I pin this badge on for each of the twelve men who held this position of command before me  and I pin this badge on for those who will come after me.  I pin this badge on for those I have sworn to lead.  I pledge to hold this office with respect, honor and dignity, and I will expect the same from you in return.

Perhaps most importantly, I pin this badge on for those I have sworn to protect and serve.  I pledge that it will be the primary mission of the Canton Police Department to continue to deliver professional police services while ensuring the safety of both the residents and business owners of Canton.

Although abbreviated, this is the essence of that speech.  It concluded by asking those present to do what I would ask of all those reading this message:  Keep in their thoughts, the brave men and women in our military, who so courageously serve around the world in  many dangerous locations.  I also asked for continued support for our state, county and local law enforcement personnel, as well as federal agents and all members of the emergency services, as we continue to address the crimes that adversely affect our communities, while proudly serving on the frontlines to prevent terrorism on the home front..


The world of policing  has changed dramatically since John Plunkett first pinned on the badge of Chief of Police for the Town of Canton,. However, I firmly believe that the our mission is the same as the one he had in mind: that the Canton Police Department be a benchmark for all law enforcement agencies to emulate.  We continue to work toward that objective and hopefully each passing day brings us closer to attaining that goal.   

In Service,

Kenneth N. Berkowitz
Chief of Police  


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