Hancock hires Robison as police chief; Miller returns as part-time officer

by Geoff Fox

New Hancock Police Chief James Robison.

The Hancock Police Department has a new chief and two new officers after

they were sworn in during last Wednesday’s town meeting.

James Robison, who has been part of the police department for the last few years, was sworn in as chief while Seth Hall was officially sworn in as the town’s newest police officer. The third officer sworn in was a familiar face to Hancock residents as Rich Miller returned as a part-time officer.

Miller had previously been on the force as an officer, sergeant, and police chief.

Robison will officially take the position of chief on January 1, 2020.

There were a number of applicants who had applied to be the chief of Hancock’s police department, however there were two who Mayor Ralph Salvagno said were qualified for the position – Robison and one other.

With the appointment of Robison as chief and Hall and Miller coming in as new officers, it brings the Hancock Police Department to full strength of five officers.

Scott Wolff and Shawn Faith round out the police force.

Moments after being sworn himself, Police Chief swore in new officers Seth Hall and Rich Miller during last week’s town meeting.

Salvagno first swore in Robison who in turn swore in Hall and Faith.

After a photo op with his officers, Robison thanked Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore and his department for his assistance during the shortage of officers. Two deputies were in attendance.

After the swearing in of all three officers, there was a 10 to 15 minute pause as those in attendance met with or got re-acquainted with the new members of the police force and had light refreshments.

The police department at full staff puts Hancock in a good situation, Salvagno said.

He said having Miller come back is amazing and good for the town as he is “well respected” in town.

Robison said Hall is “doing well” in his training. There are some issues in Hancock that don’t occur as often as other areas, so it takes a little longer in field training.

“That’s not a bad thing,” said Councilman Tim Boyer who is also one of the police commissioners.

Miller is required to do 80 hours of field training, however Robison feels he can get through that pretty quick.

“Rich obviously has experience, so that’s really going to help us out,” the new chief said.

Robison said he has been working on a schedule with “a lot of good coverage” for Hancock.

Councilman and Police Commissioner Leo Murray said he thinks Robison will do a good job as chief and even joked about the police force.

“I went to bed, we had one officer and I wake up and we have four,” he said drawing laughs from those in attendance.

Boyer added he was excited about the future of the department and having it fully staffed.

Robison takes over the Hancock Police Department after former Chief Rick Cook abruptly resigned at the end of October, not even a year after being named chief of police.