5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmingtons New Police Chief Joe Desmond PART 1

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple recently caught up with Wilmington Police Chief Joe Desmond, who was appointed to the position on Monday, July 15. Question #1: You grew up in Wilmington. You’ve been on the force for more than 30 years. Can you describe what it’s like to now be Chief?Chief: “It’s been quite a journey. I started July 2 of 1988. It doesn’t seem so long ago as things do move quickly. I never envisioned myself becoming chief. I was never one of those people who had an ambition to be the leader of the department. I always wanted to be involved and extend my responsibilities as best I could, but I never saw myself here. It’s an honor and I’m looking forward to it.”Question #2: You told the Town Crier: “We’ve always had a department that has had a very good reputation in the community and that’s responsive to the community’s needs.” How do you plan on continuing to maintain this reputation and responsiveness? Will the public see any noticeable changes now with you at the helm?Chief: “Being responsive to the community’s needs is one of the most important things that we can do. I try to stress to [my staff] that our reputation doesn’t happen by accident. You get a good reputation by being responsive to the community’s needs and being professional. My goal is to keep that going and improve on it in any area that we can.”“I don’t think you’ll see any major changes right away. The best, longest lasting change you can make is change that happens slowly. Our biggest priority right now is staffing issues with Deputy Chief Richter going to Kittery and the Chief Begonis going to the private sector. We had two retirements last year and two more coming up, so the amount of time it takes to hire people, train them at the academy and get them road trained and ready to go is a big turnaround. One of my biggest issues will be getting up to staffing levels. Once you get there, you can begin to broaden out a bit.”Question #3: What are your thoughts on the new Police Explorers Program your department is starting? Chief: “One of the ways we always look to improve is outreach to the community. We’re a reactive profession in a way. We wait until someone calls us and then come and try to solve their problem. We’re looking for ways to be proactive. We think the Explorers program is a nice way of doing that. Officers Dan Furbush and Mike Cabral are spearheading this. We hope to be starting in October. We’ve got some good early feedback. They’re looking for 20 participants. We’re looking forward to it. It’s a way of making the younger generation have a positive response to this profession. For some reason, we’re not getting the type and number of recruits we used to get. Not as many people are taking the civil service test. For whatever reason, this job doesn’t have the appeal that it used to have. A program like this can be almost like a farm system, where we instill that this is a good profession. We hope some of these kids who participate will grow up and someday join our ranks.”Question #4: Your department is holding its National Night Out event at Rotary Park this coming Tuesday, August 6. What are your thoughts on the event and what are you trying to accomplish with it? Chief: “I agree with [former Chief Begonis] that National Night Out is one of the best nights of the year for the department and I want to carry on what he did with it. Because of the Cummings Foundation’s generosity, we were able to hold the event, although most of what you see is volunteers. All the agencies are doing this on their own free time. Red Heat Tavern donates all the food. The evening provides a relaxed atmosphere where citizens can come out and meet people in law enforcement in a nice setting, not a stressful setting or in positions of authority. There’s also an educational aspect to it too — citizens can learn more about what we do. And, for those wondering, yes, we have the helicopter back for this year’s event, weather-permitting, which is always a crowd favorite.”Question #5: Lt. Brian Pupa was recently appointed Deputy Chief of Police. What are your thoughts on his promotion? Chief: “Once I was promoted to permanent chief, the issue of filling the deputy chief came up. The two candidates at the top of the list were Lt. Dan Murray and Lt. Brian Pupa. There was no way I could lose. I’m very much looking forward to working with Brian. His civil service rank is Deputy Chief, but I really want to view this as Chief and Chief 1A. I have that much confidence in him and value and trust his opinion that much. It’s going to be great and I’m excited about it.”Look for 5 more questions with Chief Desmond tomorrow on Wilmington Apple.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Police Chief Joe Desmond & Deputy Police Chief Brian Pupa Sworn InIn “Police Log”5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Police Chief Joe Desmond (PART 2)In “5 Quick Questions”SELECTMEN NEWS: Board Supports Fire & Police Substation In North Wilmington; Town To Vote On Project In April 2020?In “Government”last_img

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