The Wenham Police Department is proud to wish Chief Peter Carnes all the best in his retirement from law enforcement after 46 years on the job.
Carnes began his career as a patrolman with the Wenham Police Department in 1973 and was chief of the department from 1984 to 1995.
He left the department in 1995 to the become the chief of the Yarmouth Police Department, a position he held until 2008 when he retired.
From 2008 to 2019, Carnes has served as the Chief of Police and Director of Campus Safety, at Stonehill College, in Easton.
Below is a message from Chief Carnes about his esteemed career:
“As of January 2nd, It will be forty six years since my appointment as a Police Officer in Wenham, Mass. On that day, my mentor, Chief Ed Haraden took a chance and hired a Criminal Justice student from North Shore Community College. For my friends and colleagues, you know how much I have enjoyed my career! Yes it could be said that I was experiencing a ring side seat in the Greatest Show on Earth! Policing for me has been exciting, challenging, and of course it has had it difficult and very painful moments! I am confident that a sense of humor got me through of those completing many career moments and I would do it all in again in a heartbeat.
Where did the time go? My career has brought me to meet Presidents, Princess Anne, a number of Hollywood Stars, countless Professional Athletes and a host of other prominent political people or even those who thought themselves to be famous in some way shape or form. My resume has had a list of accomplishments in my forty six years, but I feel my greatest accomplishment has been just being a Police Officer, not a Chief in three separate Departments, not being a President of a Chief’s organization, it is just being a Police Officer. For me the best times were being in a Police Station, on the side of the road, in the Emergency Room, or in a living room at 3:00 AM, giving someone advice over a dilemma or life challenge or a pending prosecution for a crime they have committed. The opportunity to help someone in a difficult situation and maybe contributing something positive to making a person’s life or a problem, a bit easier, has been probably the most rewarding for me. To be the Chairman of an International Chiefs of Police Association’s International effort on Police Officer Safety, Project SafeShield, for ten years, to reduce Police Officer death or injury had it rewards as well. A statement from our esteemed Committee that we must have “zero tolerance for the Death or Injury of our hardworking men and women” seemed to have made considerable sense, but our message shamefully does not resonate in some of our Courtrooms or even our Political arenas, today.
We need to continue to make Officer Safety a priority. Hopefully, with the support of the public, this will certainly and must change. The twelve percent increase in Officer deaths, is appalling in 2018. We cannot stand around without this matter not only being fixed, but it must be permanently solved. My brothers and sisters in Yarmouth, and their families know first hand, how difficult this loss can be.
As I leave active Policing in a few weeks, I feel strongly that I have been blessed to be able to recruit, to employ, to have taught, and to be associated with some of the greatest human beings that walk the face of the Earth. They eagerly approach their Police work, they do it everyday, in all sorts conditions, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. All of them leave their homes everyday, put on a uniform and accept the uncertainty of the fact of whether or not they will return home safely, or not return at all. These people of course, are the men and women of our law enforcement profession. My greatest career reward has been meeting and working with all of you.
As I enter the next Chapter, be assured that I am eternally grateful for all of you. Whether our paths have crossed while you were a State, Municipal, Campus, or Federal law enforcement official, you for my forty six years, have had my total respect and admiration. Lastly, we do not do this type of work alone. The support of my wife, Karen and our son Brendan, have been a key ingredients of my career, giving me the time to be away from home to work within the framework of this type of career. I definitely recognize and deeply appreciate their support, especially counseling me during the difficult times.
The time has now come for me to step aside and now navigate a new path! I will be doing so, by proudly supporting all of those who have accepted the mission of serving our communities and protecting us all from harm. I pray that you be safe in your duties and that your career is as rewarding as mine. May God Bless you and keep you safe!”
Chief Peter L. Carnes