Duxbury town officials, police officers and residents welcomed the town’s first permanent deputy police chief at the official swearing in on Friday, Jan. 18 at the Senior Center.
Stephen McDonald, of Mashpee, was sworn in by Town Clerk Nancy Oates after warm welcomes from police chief Matthew Clancy and Town Manager Richard MacDonald.
McDonald is an 18-year veteran with the Mashpee Police Department and retired from the Coast Guard after 35 years of service and 14 years’ active duty as a senior chief petty officer.
Chief Clancy opened the ceremony by describing the process by which the deputy chief was chosen. After the position was accepted by Town Meeting, it went before the legislature on Beacon Hill.
“We were lucky; it passed relatively quickly through both the House and the Senate,” Clancy said. “A special thanks goes out to Representative Tom Calter and Senator Robert Hedlund.”
A selection committee was formed and the screening process began. Six semifinalists were chosen out of the 20 candidates, who came from nine different states. The selection committee conducted interviews and identified two finalists, who then went through an assessment center.
The decision was ultimately up to MacDonald, who said he feels Duxbury is fortunate to have McDonald as deputy chief.
“Over time, he will realize, as we all have, that he is fortunate to be part of Duxbury,” MacDonald said. “He will find this town a professional, involved community where high standards and services to the citizens are a priority.”
The Town Manager attended the assessment process for the finalists and said he was impressed by how McDonald handled the various difficult situations the panel presented to him.
“It was then that I realized he was the individual to assist Chief Clancy as deputy chief and to further professionalize the department,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald informed those in attendance that there was no familial connection between himself and the new deputy chief.
“As the appointing authority, I wish to make clear, in reference to that over-worked term transparency, that my name is MacDonald and his name is McDonald,” MacDonald joked.
Steven Ricciardi, U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Boston, also spoke at the ceremony and said he considered it an honor and privilege to assist in the “important endeavor.”
Ricciardi, a Duxbury resident, said the selection process was a learning experience for him, where he saw a lot of police knowledge, best law enforcement practices and human resource methods.
“I believe Steve is an excellent candidate for deputy chief who will be able to support Chief Clancy, officers of the department and residents of Duxbury,” Ricciardi said. “I wish him well in his future experiences and wish him well.”
After taking his oath, McDonald thanked his Mashpee coworkers for attending the ceremony. He then spoke directly to the Duxbury police officers with whom he will be working.
“I know I’ll have to earn your respect,” he said. “I know I earned the respect of my coworkers in Mashpee and I will work equally hard to earn yours.”
McDonald said his coworkers will hear him mention the word “drive” often. He said he is a big fan of process improvement and is not a “status quo person.”
“My job is to be a power boost to the chief to help him drive the agency forward,” McDonald said. “My core values are honor, respect and devotion to duty.”
McDonald asked his new coworkers to continue to learn and train and to stay mentally and physically fit.
“Keep yourself in drive and avoid slipping into neutral,” he said. “Stay sharp always.”