No Law Against It
Free-spirited hippie, in a flash,
sees his calling as a cop
By Matt Crawford | Photographed by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
The first thing you notice is the accent. Whether you deal with police officers on a daily basis, interact with them on rare occasions or only form an opinion about cops through what you read in the media, you find very few American cops with a British accent. The uniform, the gun at the hip, the confident swagger, the tightly cropped hair? Sure, that’s a blue-blooded cop. The accent, however, is a glorious giveaway. Something is obviously different here.
First impressions can often be correct, and Middlebury police officer Chris Mason is indeed
unusual. It’s not just because he’s an American cop with an English accent. It’s not only because his
beat is the Middlebury school system — he officially serves as the Middlebury School Resource
Officer. It’s not just because he has a public access television program called “Middlebury Five-O”
or that he was once an almost-famous artist. There’s much more to it. And that, by all accounts, is a
good thing for the Addison County community.
“Yes, Chris is different,” said Bill Lawson, principal of Middlebury Union High School. “He
comes into the world of policing from a different background than I imagine that most folks do. He
offers a unique perspective.”
That, to put it mildly, is an understatement.
“I look back at how I got here, and I’m confident I’m the right person for this job in this place,”
said Mason, 45, as he led a visitor through the hallways of Middlebury Union High School. “I just
took a roundabout route getting here.”
vermontlife.com 34 • vermont life
Cap and Trade Chris Mason, school resource
officer in Middlebury, switches hats and takes a
selfie with graduating senior Jordan Broughton.