Wayland Police Sgt. Richard Manley said the time has come to pursue a new challenge.
Manley, who began serving with the as an intern in 1976, is retiring from the department. His last day will be Feb. 3.
“I was always infatuated with police work,” said Manley, who worked with the Wayland Police Department as part of an early police training program while he was still in high school.
Manley moved to Wayland 49 years ago as a child and graduated from Wayland Public Schools. While his family no longer lives in town, he still thinks of Wayland as a home of sorts.
“My roots are there,” Manley said. “I moved to that community 49 years ago. My family became very involved in the community and I went through the entire public school system. I consider myself somewhat of a native of Wayland.”
After graduating from Wayland High School, Manley went on to pursue his degree at Northeastern University. While there, he served in a variety of law enforcement positions through the university’s co-op program. During 1977 and ’78, that co-op program allowed him to continue working with the Wayland PD. In addition, he completed stints with the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Association in New York City, the Wellesley College Police, and the Boston Police Department Commissioner’s Office.
“I had aspirations of going into the federal government,” Manley said. But a recruitment visit from then Wayland Police Chief William Blake changed the course of Manley’s career. In 1979, during Manley’s senior year at Northeastern, Blake asked Manley to join the Wayland PD.
“I told him I’d give him a couple of years,” Manley remembered.
A couple of years, turned into three decades.
“I’ve always considered myself privileged and honored to serve the community of Wayland where I grew up,” Manley said. “I’ve met so many wonderful people and established friendships that continue to this day.”
Many of those people, in fact, provided tremendous support for Manley when, in 2008, he had a bicycle accident while on the job that landed him in the hospital for 26 days.
“I’ll always remember the response and the outpouring of support from well-wishers I received,” Manley said. “I’ll always treasure that and remember that from all corners of the community.”
During his time with Wayland Police, Manley rose through the ranks and in 1987 achieved the rank of sergeant, a position he holds today. Manley said he is particularly proud of the work he was able to do with town youth and in the area of domestic violence prevention and assistance during that time.
“I’m most proud of that part of dealing with young people,” Manley said. “That’s what made me tick.”
In addition, Manley said he, along with others in town, were on the “cutting edge” of domestic violence intervention and assistance long before state laws were in place to provide those protections.
Just because he’s moving on from Wayland doesn’t mean Manley intends to leave law enforcement completely and said he is exploring a couple of options at this time.
“I think I’m at the point in my life and my career where I need to challenge myself a little more than I’m currently challenged in my position with the police department,” Manley said, adding that he hopes to work in law enforcement for many more years.
“I don’t think there’s any more rewarding an occupation that allows you to help others,” he said. “It’s been very rewarding to me.”