Police Update: Lt Appointment; School Officer retiring and more

Former finalist for Chief recommended as 2nd-in-command; DARE Officer's retirement, and statement about video of Memphis police brutality

Above: Southborough’s Police Sgt Sean McCarthy has been recommended for the position of Lieutenant. SPD Officer Kevin Landry is retiring. (photos cropped from Facebook)

Tonight’s agenda for the Select Board includes “Appointment of Police Lieutenant”. The packet posted for the meeting includes a recommendation letter from the Chief asking for the promotion of Sgt Sean McCarthy.

While I’m sharing that, I’m also adding other news, including the retirement of the officer who has served for decades as the face of the SPD to Southborough students.

Last summer, McCarthy threw his hat in the ring for the Chief of Southborough Police. He was one of the two finalists. The position went to senior officer Lieutenant Ryan Newell. But the Select Board made clear that they were also impressed by McCarthy and assured him he had a bright future.

So, it’s not surprising that McCarthy applied for Newell’s vacant former position — the Southborough Police Department’s sole Lieutenant. The managerial position is second-in-command and assumes “the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Chief” in the Chief’s absence.

The recommendation letter from Chief Newell included:

Sean is a resident of Southborough, MA. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University and a Master of Arts Degree from University of Massachusetts- Lowell. He is currently a full-time Police Sergeant for the Town of Southborough, and has been working for the department since his appointment to a part-time dispatcher position in 2004. During his tenure with the SPD, he was hired to a full-time police officer position in 2006; appointed to the Detective position in 2011; and promoted to Sergeant in 2016.

His appointment would be of great benefit to the Southborough Police Department in filling a very important administrative position.

The letter doesn’t indicate if there was another applicant for the post, which was restricted to internal hiring. In early, December Newell told the Board that only two members of the SPD were eligible to apply based on having command experience and a Bachelor’s degree.

[Note: I did inquire in December why a Bachelor’s degree is required to apply. It appears the only answer is that’s how it’s written in the Job Description.]

In other staffing news, the SPD posted to Facebook a congratulations to Officer Kevin Landry on his retirement. Many families will recognize Landry from his role as the School Resource Officer and D.A.R.E. Officer (teaching students about dangers of drug and alcohol abuse).

School Resource Officer Kevin Landry at Trottier's celebration for outgoing 8th graders last spring. (from Facebook)According to the Facebook post, Landry has served in that role for the last 22 years of his 25 on the Southborough force.

In November, SPD’s Officer Jeff Norton was certified to also teach DARE. (Though, at that time, it was stated he would be working with Landry.)

Also on Facebook, three days ago, Chief Newell posted less happy news. It was a statement reacting to the video released on Friday of Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols, who later died as a result of the injuries.

Newell wrote to the community:

The men and women of the Southborough Police Department are so very disturbed and angered by the now released video involving Tyre Nichols and the former members of the Memphis Police Department. We stand with our community and all those who call for justice to be served on these former officers. Their actions were beyond comprehension and understanding. There were so many failures involved in this brutal encounter: Failure to train, failure to supervise, failure to intervene…..too many to list. We pray that the Memphis community will one day be able to heal and find peace, and that the Memphis Police Department will be able to work on re-establishing and re-building their relationship with their community.

The Southborough Police Department values our commitment to community policing and continuously building on our community relationships. Every day we will work to make sure that our community feels safe in their homes and has faith in those who serve and protect them.
We extend our deepest condolences to Tyre Nichol’s family, friends, and the Memphis community.

~Chief Ryan M. Newell

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