The Metrowest Daily News reports that Southborough Police Chief Jane Moran is retiring in November. She notified Selectmen in a letter that she will retire at the end of her contract term.
Last November, after months of negotiating, Southborough Selectmen opted to renew Moran’s contract for only one year rather than three. According to MWDN, negotiations for the next contract were set to begin this past spring.
Over the past few years, the Southborough Police Department has been beleaguered by troubles:
- Earlier this month, the Telegram & Gazette questioned the department’s policy on keeping drugs in evidence. (Though, that policy appears to pre-date Moran’s tenure as Chief.)
- Recently, residents were alarmed by a string of burglaries This came about 9 months after the 2012 string of break-ins. (The crimes are still under investigation or have cases in progress.)*
- Last year, there was controversy surrounding a mistake by the department that allowed a registered sex offender to reside a few houses away from a preschool for two years.
- In December 2011, former Officer Michael Crenshaw went public with multiple claims against the department for negligence in dealings with prisoners and mishandling of reported internal incidents.
Moran has been an employee of the Southborough Police Department for 30 years. She was appointed interim police chief in December 2008 following the death of her predessor (Chief William Webber.)
The following fall, Selectmen voted to select Moran for the appointment. At the time, there was a lot of public support for the then 25 year employee of the Southborough Police Department.
MWDN reports that Selectman Dan Kolenda stated, “We absolutely appreciate the years of dedicated service that she has provided to the people of Southborough.” Moran declined to comment.
For the MWDN story, click here.
Updated (7/3/13 2:07 pm): Updated MWDN story with more details, including an explanation from the Chief:
Moran said Tuesday that it was just time to move on.
“It’s been absolutely a wonderful journey for me,” she said. “I really am appreciative of the opportunity the town afforded me.”
*Updated (7/8/13 11:26 am): After speaking with Lt. James of the Southborough PD, I am retracting “unsolved” in reference to the 2012 burglaries. Those cases are still under investigation or in progress. Charges have been pressed in one case (with some items returned to owner) and other cases have evidence being processed by State Police.
Was there a lot of public support, or did PizzaGate have anything to do with her appointment? And did the public support hold more precedent than the $10,000 testing they refuse to show the scores for?
Taylor, Other than Mr. Boland, this is a new BOS that had nothing to do with the promotion of Chief Moran. I’m not sure it is fair to criticize the current BOS for decisions made by a prior BOS, but I do commend them for making important decisions.
I think the biggest reason she got the job of chief is her knowledge of the town and more so her ties with the residents of the town. Knowing the residents of the town is a big part of the job.
My concern moving forward is the next in line for the job if we hire within the department as I do not believe Lt. James has that relationship with the residents and has repeatedly shown poor people skills.
Officer Mattioli on the other hand has the strong ties to the community and the residents and knows the job. I have no doubts he would be a good choice for Southborough if he was interested.
The BOS has not even accepted her retirement yet. I think it is a bit unseemly to be lobbying for your favorite (let alone trashing another officer) at this point.
I am sure that the BOS will have lengthy discussions about what they want in a new Chief. I suspect that the big question will be do they want someone from outside the dept?
“Officer Mattioli” is not an officer at all, only in the reserve sense. He is the administrative secretary to the chief. He has NO qualifications to be the chief. There is an exam that they have to take. I also think you are wrong about Lt. James. He is a great public speaker, has a varied background, and has good relationships with many townspeople. I would certainly vote for him. Again however, that is not to say that he has taken the necessary tests and is ready for that position.
This is Southboro. We will hire a company to consult and get a committee to consult and then do whatever the heck the BOS wants anyway. Why bother going through all the channels if they mean nothing. Save the money, post the job, take applications and hire somebody.
Your description of how we will pick the next chief is more or less how we have done it in the past. However, we just passed a Strong Town Admin By Law. The TA has a major role to play in this process. It is up to him/her to recommend a candidate to the BOS. The BOS remains the appointing authority but the basic grunt work of candidate selection is now in the hands of the TA
I am certain that the BOS will make their requirements know to the TA. That is their role. It will be up to the TA to vet candidates that meet those requirements and recommend one to the BOS.
Thank you Jane Moran for everything you have done for the town of Southborough and for your dedication to positions held throughout the years! You will be missed. You are a kind and deserving individual who stood for Principle and that is to be greatly admired and appreciated. Best wishes always.
My one and only interaction with Chief Moran was when she came to Trottier for the recent lock down. I was very impressed with the calm, supportive, yet professional manner in which she spoke to the children. That “blend” is not always easy to find. I wish her the best & hope that we can work together as a community to find a suitable replacement.
We agree with Alan on Lt. Sean James’ poor people skills. We witnessed this first hand. We had exposed the criminal in a felony case, and James’ detective work was bordering on complete incompetence. We truly hope the town will do an exhaustive search and get the very best, unlike the last time. Throughout the previous chief’s term problems, don’t forget who was a high ranking official in the police department–Sean James. Southborough deserves better.
My apologies for expressing my opinion on this Blog??????
I will not elaborate any further with personal experiences I have had with the officer to back my statement up of his behavior to avoid any further “trashing” (your word not mine) of the officer. Although “Emperor’s new Clothes” above seems to be willing to elaborate.
In the future I will also hold back my opinion of what a good fit for the position of chief would be until the timing is better for you. Not sure when that would be, a day after she says she’s retiring, a month, a year.
As for the BOS not accepting Chief Moran’s retirement, I hate to inform you but it doesn’t matter, her contract is up and she wants to retire, done deal. They have no say in the matter. I would like her to stay but she has the right to retire. She has done a good job for the town and deserves her retirement. Perhaps the BOS should have given more effort and got her the three year contract that was standard for the chiefs position and we wouldn’t be having the need for looking for a new chief at this time.
Alan, I have no dog in this fight. I am almost certain the BOS will accept her retirement.
I guess I felt that the Chief should be given sufficient respect that the politicking for who should be the next chief should not start until she have formally submitted her retirement papers and they were accepted.
That is just how I feel. Far be it for me to try and shut anyone else up. If you feel compelled to lobby for the candidate of your choice have at it. I am sure there will be a lot of politicking (and there should be) about who the next chief will be. A healthy discussion about what we want from our Police Dept and our next Chief is a good thing.
Since you appear knowledgeable what do you think the big challenges and goals for the next chief should be.
I think being missed here is the fact that she wanted a longer contract, yet they could not “come to an agreement.” In other words, the town will accept her retirement, because her only other option is to take nothing when her contract is not renewed.
FYI, that is not exactly her only other option. Southborough adopted the strong chief law many years ago. Our police chief cannot be removed from office unless the BOS holds a public hearing on the matter, and failure of reappointment is explicitly included as a “removal”. The end of her contract does not legally end her term.
Its also intersting to note that the police chief will continue to hold office until explicitly removed by the BOS. Its not the case that the police chief can resign and walk away from her position – the BOS has to accept the resignation.
Well said and understood.
I meant no disrespect for chief Moran and as stated above I wish she would stay.
That being said I feel very strongly that the next Chief should be someone that knows the town and its residents very well as chief Moran did and all the chiefs before her did. Hiring a chief from outside with no knowledge or history with the town and its residents is doing all of us a big disservice in my mind.
Plus, when there is a qualified internal candidate (and I don’t know any of the officers well enough to have an opinion on that) it’s in the town’s best interest to promote from within. Good for morale, usually gives other officers a chance to move up, too.
I think there are one or two things worth noting. Some of what “went wrong” during Chief Moran’s tenure were actually the result of faulty procedures which she inherited. She is too professional to try to avoid the blame from resting at her desk, but that is in fact, the case.
Second, Lt. James is a very well-educated and very able police officer. We are very lucky to have him. One of his greatest skills is in dealing with irrational complaints and residents who try to use the police department to exact personal grudges. I have seen this happen in my own neighborhood more than once and Lt. James remained professional and tempered throughout.
We have wonderful police, fire and EMT professionals and they often deserve much better than we give them.
The next chief should be young enough so that we do not end up paying retirement benefits for years and years.
Our current retirement is a defined benefit…..why not go to 401ks like the majority of workers?
Retired chief Mauro is around 55…..
Retired Chief Phaneuf has been retired for many years at a good clip.
Current chief Mauro is not far behind and when will he be eligible?
We will be paying chief Moran for many years…
Let’s choose someone in their 30’s who will stick around.
Please just someone who cares about the noise violations of countless open pipe bikes and can improve on the number of times I read in the police blog about how the officer responded but the vehicle left the area…maybe also someone who can get us a deal on DVR camera systems so that we can finally catch the people ripping us off.
And while this may seem less important to some than a new chief who “knows the town” I think a lot of good could come from someone who isn’t biased by “knowing” the town.
Shake thing up, show us a different and hopefully better way. There are a lot of reasons NOT to promote from within without even looking at or judging the candidates.
I know a number of the officers. The best qualified for this position would be Officer Hagen, he has been here several years and is a CMNDR in the US Naval Reserve. He was also Chief Webber’s right hand man when he was chief. He would run the place more like a military organization than the play school its been run like under Chief Moran.
Actually Rick Mattioli was Chief Webber’s right hand man. Hagen was under Mattioli. It is interesting because Hagen is quite hands off with the residents and I am not even sure people know who he is. Again, it is about qualifications. I imagine we will see an “outsider” come in if we can’t move Sean James up the ladder. I am not honestly sure any of the other guys are qualified for the position.
Wrong, Rick was administrative assistant, Hagen had the office next to Webber upstairs and was in everyway but rank second in command
I ‘m sorry to see Chief Moran go, I have nothing but respect for how she’s handled herself in the “good ole boy” network…