AMHERST — During its meeting on April 29, the Amherst Town Council officially voted in favor of appointing Gabriel Ting as the town’s next police chief.

The vote comes one week after Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman announced his appointment of Ting in a press release.

“Gabe Ting is a leader who can best lead the town of Amherst Police Department in the coming years,” Bockelman said in a statement about his appointment.

Ting has served in the Amherst Police Department for 27 years, starting as a patrol officer in 1997 before becoming a detective in 2004. From there, he was promoted sergeant in 2010, lieutenant in 2016 and became captain of operations in 2019. He also served as the interim chief for the department since 2023 and was one of two finalists for this position chosen by the town’s Police Chief Search Committee. The other finalist was Todd Ahern, a lieutenant in the Chelmsford Police Department.

During his meet-and-greet with the community on April 2, Ting said it was his goal to spend his entire career with the Amherst Police Department.

“I lucked out that this community was so diverse,” Ting said. “This town certainly welcomed me in and my family in.”

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ting is a child of parents who fled China for South America before eventually landing in Amherst. He has a bachelor of arts degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master of science in criminal justice administration from Western New England University.

Ting has taught at many police academies and is a certified instructor under the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council. He also serves on the Ancestral Bridges Foundation Board of Directors.

“His life story really reflects many experiences that we have in our town,” said Bockelman, who noted that Ting went through Amherst’s public school system.

During his meet-and-greet, Ting spoke about how the issues of mistrust between the community and its police have stemmed from a lack of accessibility to the department from the public.

“There is no accessibility to the Police Department, and that resonated with me,” Ting said, reflecting on previous incidents in town in which a citizen may have tried to bring concerns or complaints to the attention of the department. “That’s why I’ve always thought to myself, ‘Well, if I become the chief of police, I will have that ability to try and change that.’”

As the interim police chief for nearly a year, Ting said he learned a lot about how he can impact the town’s department.

“The biggest thing that I’ve learned in this 10 months being the chief of police, is that I have to have big ears and a little mouth,” Ting said. “I really need to be able to listen to the community and the community needs.”

Bockelman noted how Ting also emphasized his commitment to building better relationships with the youth in Amherst as well as the town of Amherst in general.

“In his term as temporary police chief, I had the opportunity to work directly with Gabe regularly and observed his ability to lead the department at a very detailed and ground level,” Bockelman said. “He has earned the trust and respect of the police officers in the department, his professional colleagues and members of the town’s many communities.”

District 3 Councilor Hala Lord was the lone dissenting vote for the appointment, offering no explanation why.
Negotiations on a contract with Ting and a swearing-in ceremony will happen soon.

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