By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
Town Manager Richard White announced last week that Winthrop Police Sergeant Terrence Delehanty had been named to serve as Acting Assistant Police Chief, fulfilling a pledge he had made to Chief of Police David Goldstein to create the new position and potentially setting up a showdown with Town Councilors who have questioned the need for the new administrative position in the town’s police department and White’s authority to create it.
Delehanty assumed the position of Acting Assistant Police Chief on Monday, September 13, 2007. According to White, the creation of the position of Assistant Police Chief adds a critical visible leadership presence during the off shift hours (any time that is not Monday through Friday 8 A.M. to 5 P.M).
In making the announcement, both White and Goldstein discussed Delehanty’s qualifications, long ties to the community and personal attributes, which they used to make the decision.
“Terry has been indispensable to me as Chief” said David Goldstein. “He is a thoughtful, innovative and creative problem solver. His work product has been flawless in his career here. The personnel on his shift are always prepared and they produce. His interview was a terrific reminder to me as to his strengths as a leader and a manager as well as to what he has been able to accomplish in his career as a law enforcement professional in Winthrop. I feel very fortunate that he is willing to perform at this next level of law enforcement and am certain the citizens of Winthrop will see immediate results in the performance of the Police Department as a result of his appointment.”
Delehanty is a lifelong resident of the Winthrop, a graduate of Winthrop High School and the University of Massachusetts, where he majored in criminal justice and was licensed to practice law in Massachusetts in 2000, after graduating from the Massachusetts School of Law.
White also said that Delehanty’s appointment followed an extensive internal interviewing process in which four candidates were interviewed to fill the Assistant Chief’s position. Police Chief David Goldstein interviewed all four candidates. Candidates responded to a series of multi layered questions focusing on leadership, strategic planning for police departments, operations management, communication, supervisory style, priority setting as well as questions regarding some of the more technical aspects of law enforcement.
“Chief Goldstein reported that all four candidates acquitted themselves well during the interviews, but that Delehanty’s interview and performance as a police officer and police sergeant distinguished him as a leader best capable of helping him make the necessary changes that will help him make the Winthrop Police Department one of the highest performing departments in the greater Boston area,” said White.
“Long term, I anticipate that it will take more than 12 months for the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission to authorize the permanent creation of the Assistant Police Chief position,” added Goldstein. “Once authorized to create the position, a competitive process will be created and an assessment center selection process will implemented to select a permanent full time Assistant Police Chief.”
During an open meeting on August 14, several Town Councilors questioned White about Goldstein’s decision to remain as Police Chief and White’s decision to create the Assistant Chief position.
Councilors Joseph Ferrino, Linda Calla and Phil Boncore peppered White about the need for a Assistant Police Chief, when the town was struggling to put more patrol officers on the street. Additionally, they questioned White’s ability to create the position without the approval of the Town Council itself, referring to the move as a reorganization of the department.
However, White told the councilors that he saw the move more as a restructuring of the department’s existing personnel, a function that was in his job description as Town Manager, and informed the council that he had checked with Town Counsel Robert Noonan as well, before deciding on the new position.