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Duggan Nominates Bartlett To Be New Dracut Police Chief

Apr 14, 2017 11:25AM ● By Andrew Sylvia

Hooksett, N.H., Police Chief Peter Bartlett

Hooksett, N.H., Police Chief Peter Bartlett was announced on Wednesday as the presumptive nominee to lead Dracut’s police force.

Bartlett spent 24 years as an officer in Manchester, N.H. prior to his confirmation as Hooksett’s chief in 2013. In both communities, he played a role regarding accreditation efforts from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA. 

Dracut Town Manager Jim Duggan has stated CALEA accreditation and state accreditation as one of his key goals for the Dracut Police Department and noticed Bartlett’s efforts in that regard.

“He took the model he developed in Manchester and brought it into Hooksett to turn around a contentious situation to a situation that was much improved and working very well, said Duggan.

Duggan also saw the similar population size between Hooksett and Dracut as a checkmark in Bartlett’s favor as well as his strength communicating with both the public and town officials. 

Like Duggan, Bartlett sees accreditation as an important step for any modern municipal police department, including Dracut. 

“Any type of certification is intensive, but it’s an important process,” he said. “Any agency that achieves those goals is policing itself to make sure the proper procedures and practices are in place.” 

Originally from Lawrence, Bartlett says he’s looking forward to returning to the area, although he will also miss the roots he’s set down in Hooksett as well. 

“I’m looking forward to it, I look at it as a great professional opportunity for me. I look forward to working with the folks in the community,” he said. “And I’m going to miss Hooksett. It’s a great community I’ve come to love, and I’ve come to love the people who have supported me here.” 

Bartlett’s selection came shortly after Russell Stevens, the police chief of Hamilton, Mass., withdrew from the selection process. The two other finalists, Peabody Police Department Captain Scott Richards and Public Safety Strategies Group Assistant Director Richard Bailey were winnowed from the final group last month, the last candidates from a pool that included 30 applicants. 

Pending confirmation from the Board of Selectmen next Thursday, Bartlett will take over for former Police Chief Kevin Richardson, who resigned last summer, and Interim Police Chief Neil Ouellette.

Both Bartlett and Duggan expect to work with Ouellette over the next few weeks on the transition process, expecting only minor changes to department policy updates Ouellette has recently instituted regarding department efficiency.

The position was initially posted with a salary range of $155,000 to $170,000. 

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