Search officially on for new chief

DRACUT — The call for applicants to become Dracut’s next police chief has been posted officially.

The notice went up on bulletin boards around town and on Dracut’s website on Monday. The town has been working to reach this point since former Chief Kevin Richardson retired last July, which marks the true beginning of the search process.

Neil Ouellette, former chief of the Danvers Police Department, currently leads the Dracut police on an interim basis.

To be eligible for the permanent position, applicants must have at least five years of law-enforcement management experience. A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or law degree counts for two years experience.

Qualified candidates will participate in an examination at an assessment center on Feb. 16 or Feb. 17. The examination is designed to test oral communications, written communication, interpersonal insight, problem analysis, judgment, decisiveness, planning and organizing, delegation and control, adaptability and police ethics.

The job comes with a salary of $155,186.

Last year, Town Meeting shot down a proposal from Town Manager Jim Duggan that would have allowed Dracut to consider candidates from outside the Massachusetts Civil Service system.

The decision likely ensures that the next chief will be promoted from within the department.

The department currently has one deputy chief, David Chartrand, and five lieutenants.

Chartrand and two of the lieutenants, Michael Fleury and Demetri Mellonakos, are currently tied up in union grievances or lawsuits stemming from their work with the department.

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