ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – In a packed ceremony attended by family members and police officers from different agencies, Kristen Thorne was sworn in as the 20th Police Chief of the Elmira Police Department on Friday.
“I can assure everyone that I have thought at great length about the decision to not only seek the position of Chief of Police, but also to accept it.” Thorne said at the beginning of his remarks. “I am aware of the weight the office carries, and what the public demands and deserves from it.”
Thorne is now officially leading the police department he has served since 2004. First as a patrol officer, then Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Deputy Chief of Police. Thorne has been serving as Interim Police Chief since last month. His previous roles also include SWAT team commander, and supervisor of the Detective Bureau and Drug Enforcement Unit. At Friday’s ceremony promoting Thorne to Chief of Police, his mother pinned on his badge.
“As you reach a new height in your career, can you take me back for a moment to why you first wanted to become a police officer?” Thorne was asked by 18 news reporter Nick Dubina.
“First, I can tell you that I was probably watching too many 80’s action flicks and police officers and it just really excited me, the adrenaline rush, but then it morphed into something else, the longer you get into the career.” Thorne said. “It has nothing to do with policing that you see on TV. But you do have that adrenaline rush and the feeling of helping somebody, helping the community resonates with me. So that is huge.”
Thorne now leads a force of 71 officers, including cadets. He told us one of his first priorities is to fill 3 vacancies and to keep Elmira PD fully staffed. We asked the 41 year old father of two what he would like the people of Elmira to know about him, beyond his resume.
“I would just like them to know that I will be doing the best job that I can for them, to the best of my ability.” Thorne said.
Chief Thorne said he is currently filling two roles, as the police department continues to search for a new deputy police chief.