Caristo Appointed Palm Beach Police Chief

On Friday, Town Manager Kirk Blown appointed Nicholas Caristo, a major who has been acting chief of the Palm Beach Police Department since September, police chief, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

Blouin made the announcement before a standing-room only audience at a department meeting in the Town Council chambers at Town Hall. 

“Major Caristo has exhibited the necessary grit, integrity and dedication to lead this community into the future,” Blouin said.

Caristo joined the Palm Beach Police Department in 2005 as a patrolmen, giving him 14 years of experience in the department. He also has 20 years of experience with the New York Police Department. 

After joining as a patrolmen, Caristo advanced through the ranks, becoming a detective in the Organized Crime, Vice and Narcotics Unit, sergeant, captain and major. He became acting police chief when Deputy Police Chief Ann-Marie Taylor retired in September. 

Caristo Appointed Palm Beach Police Chief

Caristo now presides over a department that has faced troubles in the forms of low morale and high turnover since the Town Council made deep cuts to pension benefits in 2012. The department lags behind nearby competitors in pay and benefits—a problem the Town Council has pledged to correct. 

Blouin said the police chief’s job “is a tough one. You have to work in those shoes to fully understand. The pressures are great.” Caristo “is certainly up for the challenge,” he said.

Caristo thanked Blouin, Mayor Gail Coniglio, the Town Council, the Palm Beach Police Foundation, the community and wife Lori for their support.

Related >>> Town Council Works to Retain Police & Firefighters

“I wear this uniform every day in pride that I am part of a police department with the brightest and dedicated officers,” he said. “I am grateful and proud to serve a community that has given their police department the amount of support and encouragement as you have.”

During his time in the Palm Beach department, Caristo has received 23 department/citizen commendations. He was also named officer of the month six times, awarded Kiwanis Officer of the Quarter twice and is a recipient of the Sons of America Revolution law Enforcement Commendation Medal.

Caristo has a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from State University of New York Empire State College and a master of science degree in organizational leadership from Palm Beach Atlantic University. 

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Alanna Barrett

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