One of the biggest stories of 2009 came in September when a son of Winthrop, Terence Delehanty, was promoted to the position of Chief of the Winthrop Police Department (WPD).
Delehanty had previously served as the Assistant Chief under former Chief David C. Goldstein. In February, 2009, Interim Town Manager Larry Holmes asked Delehanty to be the Officer in Charge of the WPD. In September, Town Manager James McKenna appointed Delehanty, a police officer since 1995, as Chief of the WPD.
Delehantyâ€™s elevation to chief added a prestigious milestone to a family that has established a tradition of exemplary service in public safety. Delehantyâ€™s father, the late Ray Delehanty, was an environmental police officer. His brothers, Michael and Sean, are patrol officers in the Winthrop Police Department. Another brother, Kevin, is a detective in the Natick Police Department.
â€œI think my father would be delighted, grinning ear to ear, to know our accomplishments,â€ said Delehanty. â€œCertainly itâ€™s the same for my mother [Mary, a resident of Winthrop], to see me as the Chief of Police is a very rewarding day for the both of them and a credit to them for the way they brought me up.â€
Delehanty hit the ground running as chief. He held a precinct meeting with residents at the Winthrop Yacht Club that attracted a large crowd while opening up the channels of communication with Massachusetts Water Resource Authority officials. Delehanty said he will resume the precinct meetings in January.
Delehanty re-established the WPD drug unit consisting of Detectives Judy Racow and Robert Jaworski. â€œItâ€™s going very well,â€ said Delehanty. â€œIn the short time that the drug unit has been operating, theyâ€™ve been following up on more leads, conducting more investigations, and cooperating with other jurisdictions to coordinate our information with them. Theyâ€™re doing a great job and I appreciate their work.â€
Delehanty heads a department that has 32 police officers, a number that the chief would like to increase. â€œItâ€™s what the town can afford right now and I understand that in an economic downturn,â€ said Delehanty. â€œWeâ€™ll be working to increase our manpower as the economy gets better. I think everyone in town government understands that we have to increase the number of officers.â€
Winthrop, once voted by a national magazine as one of the top 10 safest towns in America, still owns a reputation as a safe community.
â€œI think Winthrop is a safe town and given all the external factors â€“ could we do better in increasing the safety and in enforcement efforts in the department â€“ yes. As we add to the number of police officers to the department, weâ€™ll get better in doing that. But I donâ€™t think anyone here walks in fear and thatâ€™s the number one thermometer that I use. Are people walking around in fear? I donâ€™t believe thatâ€™s the case here,â€ he said.
Delehanty said heâ€™s grateful to the members of the WPD who have been very supportive of his leadership since taking over as chief.
â€œI just want to thank the men and women of the Winthrop Police Department for their efforts throughout the year 2009,â€ said Delehanty. â€œWithout them, I wouldnâ€™t be in the position that Iâ€™m in. Because of their efforts and the jobs that they do and the way they do them, it makes me shine and I appreciate their efforts.â€