Chief Charles Rataj


Chief Rataj began his public service career with enlistment in the Vermont National Guard in 1992, completed Basic Training at Fort Knox Kentucky in 1993 and served on M60A3 and M1 Abrams tanks with Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 172nd Armor. He attained the rank of Sergeant, also serving at the Vermont Military Academy and later as an infantryman with C company, 104th Infantry, Massachusetts National Guard. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 2003, transferred to the Military Police Corps and deployed to Iraq in 2004-2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He deployed to the Arizona / Mexico border in 2006 with Operation Jump Start as well as a training mission to Macedonia in 2007 and Operation Adriatic Aurora to Croatia in 2008. He was deployed to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010 with the 86th Infantry Brigade. He was promoted to Captain in 2012 and served as company commander of Headquarters Company, 86th Special Troops Battalion and later as Assistant Operations Officer, before retiring in 2015. During his career, he competed in one state level pistol match and three state level rifle matches, with a top 20 finish, a top 10 finish and a team championship. He attended two National Training Center exercises at Fort Irwin, three Joint Readiness Training Exercises at Fort Polk, one Combat Maneuver Training Exercise at Hohenfels, Germany, one External Training Center Exercise at Fort Drum and two Warfighter Exercises at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His awards include two Bronze Stars, three Army Commendation Medals, one Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Excellence in Competition Badge and a host of other awards.

Chief Rataj was hired by the Bellows Falls Police Department and graduated from the 76th Vermont Basic Class in 2003. He served as a patrol officer, armorer, Field Training Officer (FTO) and Quartermaster. He was hired by the Norwich Police Department in 2008, serving again as a patrol officer and FTO. He was hired by the Windsor Police Department as a Sergeant in 2015, again as a FTO, case manager, shift supervisor, death scene investigator and traffic crash investigator. He was hired as the Detective Lieutenant by the Newport, New Hampshire Police Department in 2017 and served on the Sexual Assault Response Team, the NPD Accident Reconstruction Team, the department liaison to that Child Advocacy Center, was the emergency department prosecutor, oversaw the SRO program and the Detective Division. He was hired by the Hinsdale Police Department in March, 2020 as the Chief of Police and oversees a department of 11 full time and 6 part time employees. He is a member of the Memorial Day parade committee, a founder member of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Cheshire County Chief’s of Police.

He was elected or served on numerous boards and committees, including the Unity School Budget Committee, The Newport Rotary, The Hinsdale Lion’s Club and was the Chair of the Unity Planning Board. He has attended numerous military, police and civilian schools, colleges and programs, with degrees from Greenfield Community College and Columbia College.

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