New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier Retiring
For 27 years, Tim Fournier has been a fixture at the New Hope Police Department.
“I think once I realized this is what I want to do, I knew I would end up back here,” he said. “This is my family. The officers certainly are, but the extended staff, I mean this has just been wonderful.”
Fournier has been New Hope’s police chief since 2011, but prior to that, he spent six years as a patrol officer and 12 years as a sergeant with the department.
Back in those days, he had hair.
“Yeah a lot of us did. A lot of us started with hair,” Fournier said. “You’ll start to see these transitions. As it starts to go, you get rid of it.”
Now after 27 years of service to the city of New Hope, Fournier has decided to hang up his badge and transition to another chapter of his life.
“I feel like I’ve done my thing. Right, I put my time in,” he said. “I’ve accomplished the goals I’ve wanted to accomplish. One of them is this new building here. And the other is making sure officers have the right equipment to do their job, and since I’ve been chief, I’ve really pushed the equipment, I’ve really pushed the safety part of it.”
Remembering night of Jan. 26, 2015
While Fournier has had plenty of memorable days in his 34 years of public service, one that stands out the most is Jan. 26, 2015. That’s the night when a man with a mental illness opened fire at New Hope City Hall during a council meeting. Two officers were wounded that night while the shooter, Raymond Kmetz, was killed.
“Being there at the time, it puts me right there,” he recalled. “It puts me into the same mindset as the officers. It puts me into the same stressors as the officers. And for a split second, I am surviving just like they are.”
It was a traumatic event that prompted Fournier to provide his officers an opportunity to talk to a mental health professional. It’s a program called “Check Up from the Neck Up.”
“To do this job for 20 or 30 years, or even 15 years, it does wear you out,” Fournier said. “And you have to talk to people. The suicide rate among officers nationwide is really high. It’s really disturbing. And we’re working on ways to better that.”
Fournier’s last day on the job will be Sept. 30. As he leaves this position, he knows that the department will be in good hands.
“If you’ve done your job right, there are people that can take your job and take over,” he said. “And I feel like I’ve done my job right. There are people that can step in and be great leaders.”
New Hope Police Captain Scott Slawson will serve as the interim chief once Fournier officially steps down.
In the meantime, the department has already begun the process of looking for the new chief. The city hopes to have that person selected by the end of October.