“The thing about Billy is he always had a smile.”
That’s how Southborough Fire Chief John Mauro started our conversation about Police Chief William Webber who passed away earlier this week. Chief Mauro first met Chief Webber when Webber joined the Southborough Police Department in 1980.
Here, in his own words, are Chief Mauro’s thoughts on his late friend and colleague.
“I met Billy when he started as a part-time officer. I was working police dispatch at the time. They quickly hired him full-time. We came up the ranks together.
He had a way of cracking jokes – appropriate jokes – at just the right time to diffuse a tense situation. He made people relax.
Billy was always a gentleman. I never saw a mean streak in him.
He did a lot for the department in terms of structuring the organization. Also the sex offender law. He was good at working with the public and resolving issues. The town has limited resources, and you can’t always make everyone happy, but he worked hard to work with people and find solutions. It might not have been the solution they originally wanted, but it was a solution they could agree to.
It was easy to talk to him about issues, and he was good about identifying ways to improve. For example, the plan on dealing with school emergencies that was jointly developed by the fire and police departments.
The department heads in Southborough get along great. Every year we gather at someone’s house, usually mine, after Town Meeting to debrief, and we all share a big sigh of relief that it’s over. It was always fun to have Billy and Kathy there.
Most of all I loved his humor. His laugh and his smile, that’s what I’ll miss most.”
A timeline of Chief Webber’s career
Obituary for Chief Webber
Open thread: Share your thoughts on Chief Webber
Funeral arrangements for Chief Webber
Breaking: Police Chief Webber loses his battle with cancer