MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough’s police chief David Giorgi was lauded in communication from Mayor Arthur Vigeant to the City Council last week, earning praise as Vigeant requested approval of his reappointment as police chief.
For Giorgi, this continues a chapter in a long career in law enforcement as the Marlborough Police Department tackles ongoing challenges in the community.
Chief began career in Concord
Giorgi began his career in Concord, later moving back to Marlborough to serve as an officer for the city.
Rising through the ranks, Giorgi eventually submitted his application to serve as chief of police in 2015. He was then hired in 2016.
Now leading the department, Giorgi told the Community Advocate that this role has provided unique challenges not seen during his time on patrol.
“If it was something on the road, then I felt fine, I was at ease with that,” he said. “It was when I moved to this side and went to [City] Council meetings that it was totally foreign to me.”
Giorgi said he spent time in recent years attending those government meetings – many of which he wasn’t slated to speak at.
“I went to meetings just because I wanted to learn about it and the processes,” he said.
Chief notes response to 2020 protests, pandemic
In 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests on racial justice were impacting communities everywhere. Law enforcement was at the center of many of those protests particularly over the deaths of people of color at the hands of police in places around the country.
Organizers held demonstrations in cities and towns, including Marlborough.
Giorgi, meanwhile, said he made himself and his department as accessible as possible to community members.
“We got calls from different groups to meet, to see statistics,” he said. “On my end I thought it was important to call everybody back.
“I try to be as open as we can,” he continued. “We have nothing to hide.”
Giorgi noted that a change in the philosophy surrounding policing was a necessary and beneficial step for departments.
“I think what happened with George Floyd put a blanket on the whole country,” he said. “Moving forward, it prompted change and it was a good thing.”
Overdose surge challenges police departments
As Mayor Arthur Vigeant has praised Giorgi’s leadership, the police chief has faced numerous other challenges – including the opioid crisis.
The city recorded 15 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2020, making an increase in such fatalities after a decrease in 2019 according to state data.
“It’s definitely a problem,” Giorgi said.
He noted that the city has formed a “POST team” in response to this, consisting of police officers and jail diversion clinicians through the non-profit group Advocates.
POST, which stands for Post Overdose Support Team, is a program that serves to respond to individuals who may have overdosed to provide support. Giorgi noted that it is imperative that law enforcement act swiftly to provide that crucial aid.
“This is a disease, and we try to help as many people as we can,” said Giorgi. “If we don’t do anything to help them or offer them services, it’s not going to get any better.”
Mayor praises police chief’s work
Vigeant specifically noted Giorgi’s work in a letter to the City Council that was filed with the council’s Jan. 24 agenda.
“He has successfully led his department throughout the pandemic, as well as kept the peace in our community during a volatile period while our country was, and still is, experiencing social justice and civil issues,” Vigeant wrote.
Giorgi’s new contract took effect in April of last year and runs through March 2025.
The City Council referred Vigeant’s reappointment request to its personnel subcommittee during its meeting on Jan. 24.