Chief Scott P. Livingstone announced the retirement of Detective Christina B. Knightly effective September 12, 2020, after 31 years of exceptional service to the police department and the town of Amherst.
Detective Knightly’s career at the Amherst Police Department commenced with her appointment as a community service officer on June 19, 1989. On March 1, 1990, she became a full-time patrol officer for the department. She was assigned patrol duties until her reassignment to the detective bureau in September of 1992. As a member of the detective bureau, she received extensive specialized training in criminal investigation, sexual assault and juvenile policing issues. During her tenure in the detective bureau, she served as the department’s liaison to the Eastern Hampshire District and Northampton District Courts.
Detective Knightly was a Certified Forensic Child Interviewer, Child Passenger Safety Seat Technician, Rape Aggression Defense Instructor and a member of the Sexual Assault Investigation Team. She conducted criminal investigations of major incidents and crimes. During her tenure in the Community Policing Unit, she was involved in the creation of the Adventure Based Ropes Course and a founding member of a mentoring program for Amherst elementary and middle school students. She also was instrumental in the creation of the department’s Citizen Police Academy. Most recently, she received “Badge #1” as the most senior member of the department’s patrol division in recognition of her dedicated and outstanding professional service to the police department and town of Amherst.
In 2012, Knightly initiated an investigation into a rash of burglaries occurring in the town of Amherst. The ensuing five-year investigation encompassed numerous jurisdictions and led to the arrest and conviction of several people. To address jurisdictional boundaries a coalition of state and local police forces was formed with Detective Knightly and two other Amherst detectives acting as the regional collection team for documentation related to this vast crime spree. The comprehensive and solid investigation by Detective Knightly and her fellow officers led to the recovery of many victim’s person property.
In 2017, Detective Knightly was awarded a Letter of Merit from members of the Amherst Police Department recognizing her professionalism, hard work, and skill throughout the investigation into a double shooting of two men, one of them fatally. The complex and methodical investigation plan by Detective Knightly and her fellow investigators resulted in the arrest and conviction of the two men involved in this crime.
Knightly received her diploma from Holyoke High School in 1983. She graduated in 1990 from the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Academy in Agawam, a member of the 15th Municipal Police Officer Class. Detective Knightly received both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State University, Westfield, MA.