WESTPORT - A retired law enforcement officer has announced his candidacy for Westport town supervisor.
Bruce Dunning, a retired law enforcement officer, is currently circulating petitions, making him one of three candidates now in a race for Westport's highest elected position.
Dunning, 59, has lived in Westport since 1996, when he moved to the area after 22 years working with State Police Troop K downstate.
"Since birth, it's the longest I've ever lived in one place," he said. "and this is as good as it gets."
Dunning said he has been interested in politics for many years, but the decision to run for Westport supervisor came at the urging of several supporters. He has never run for an elected position, but currently serves on the town's Zoning Board of Appeals.
"It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to serve the people," said Dunning, "and I'm at the point in my life when I'd like to do that."
Throughout his 31-year career in the State Police, Dunning has served from Manhattan up to Plattsburgh, where he achieved the rank of Captain working in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He also spent a year and a half with the Essex County Sheriff's Department as undersheriff.
"I think that experience gives me a little bit of an advantage as far as leadership and responsibility," said Dunning, adding that, while a consensus of opinions is important, a supervisor needs to be able to take charge of important decisions rather than rely too much on committees.
"Complete honesty, leadership, responsibility, giving credit to the people who are doing the work; these are the things that you need to have to do this job," he said.
Attracting more families to the town is a high priority for Dunning, who also wants to support business in the community to provide them with a means of income.