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A Little More Money, A Lot More Applicants For Police Chief Job

Mar 06, 2017 11:31AM ● By Bill Gilman

Town Manager Jim Duggan (file photo)

After several fits and starts, the process to name a new chief of police in Dracut is moving fll speed ahead.
Initially, the town had advertised the position with a salary of $155,000 per year and attracted jst two applicants. However, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, Town Manager Jim Duggan upped the starting salary to $170,000. That was enough to attract a whopping 32 applicants for the job by the deadline of March 1.
According to an article published by the Lowell Sun, the field of candidates includes two cops presently on the DPD roster —Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand and Lieutenant Stephen Chaput.
The next step in the process is a three-day evaluation of the candidates by Public Safety Consultants. The evaluation will include multiple interviews and tests, dealing with a wide assortment of law enforcement issues.
From those evaluations, Duggan will be presented with the top three candidates and from those, will make his selection.
It has been a challenging 12 months for the department. An independent evaluation found deficiencies in leadership, ultimately leading to the retirement of Chief Kevin Richardson. There have been disciplinary suspensions and most recently, a lawsuit filed by OfficerJoseph Jakuttis, alleging he was retaliated against after blowing the whistle on illegal activities allegedly condcted by fellow law enforcement officers on the drug task force — Dracut Lt. Demetri Mellonakos, who oversees the department's detectives bureau, and State Police Trooper Richard Poirier.
Neil Oullette was hired as interim police chief last summer and has said he has no interest in the permanent position, nor is he playing a role in the selection process.

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