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Wenham Police Chief Leaving Post

He will leave the end of July.

Wenham Police Chief Kenneth Walsh will be retiring from thewhere he has served since 1988.

Walsh, who will be named the head of security for Endicott College in Beverly, will continue serving as chief until the end of July.

"I was informed yesterday that the Chief will be leaving Wenham most likely at the end of July," Wenham Board of Selectmen Chairman Molly Martins said.

Walsh delivered his letter announcing his retirement to the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Mark Andrews mid-afternoon on Thursday. (See letter attached).

"I am excited about the next phase of my career," Walsh said. But he also said it is "very emotional" to leave Wenham.

Andrews, who called Walsh "the consummate professional," said the Board of Selectmen will meet in July to discuss Walsh's retirement and the transition to a new chief.

Andrews, who said he already had Walsh's private phone number at Endicott, will continue working with Walsh on several issues, including acquiring new equipment, adding an officer and maintaining the state certification for the department. 

Walsh, a resident of Groveland, has been with the Wenham department full time for 24 years. He rose through the ranks and was named chief in 2005.

Walsh served in a variety of professional associations, including being president of the Essex County Chiefs of Police Association.

The Wenham department is comprised of 10 full-time sworn officers and one civilian employee.

The Department also employs Reserve Officers which at full strength brings the total allotment to 26 sworn officers.

Mr.Wenham July 02, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Hamilton as a whole has been a disaster for years from the antics at the police department to the poorly run town hall. Wenham is a well run municipality with a fine police department. FYI, people who either work for the town or reside in Wenham agree with Kevin's views.
Michelle Bailey July 02, 2012 at 02:39 PM
The Wenham voters have already considered these matter and decided not to study joining police forces at a Special Town Meeting in 2009 and not to overturn the decision to join the ECO at the Annual Town Meeting 2011.
Hami1 July 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM
As an employee of Hamilton I will admit that Hamilton has and continues to make mistakes both at the white house and public safety building. The good people working here outweigh the bad employees on the payroll but the bad employees have made Hamilton synonymous with negative front page news. I think going their own way is the right choice for Wenham today because of Hamilton's sordid past at the police and town hall levels and the failure of the town administrators to terminate the bad employees of the town. But on the other hand Hamilton employees should not all be judged by the actions of the few bad apples because the good employees of Hamilton are as disappointed as anyone in the way these workers behaved.
Ron Powell July 02, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Both true, and I think that Wenham Town Meeting made the right decision at that time in 2009. However, time and chance make life a moving target, and enough time has passed that it makes sense to re-evaluate if it's still the right decision. One of the reasons that Town Meeting rejected consideration of a merger revolved around the issue of who would be chief of this newly merged department, and there was a concern that Wenham could lose Ken Walsh if the merger went forward. Moreover, the Hamilton Police Department was freshly disentangled from scandal and inner turmoil, and had not even chosen a permanent replacement for Chief Walter Cullen. At present, the HPD is very stable and now fully accredited by the Massachusetts Police Association, and it may make sense to revisit the dialog -- especially since a 2009 Department of revenue study estimated that the two Towns could save $540,000 through such a merger. As for the Essex Regional call center, the primary proponent of joining the regional center was Ken Walsh. As it is clear that the center has nowhere near the representation (128,000 residents living in towns along the north Shore) that had been promised to Wenham, perhaps it is time to revisit that decision as well.
Ron Powell July 02, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Perhaps if one were to take a long distant "bird's eye" view from say Reading or even Florida, for example, things might look this way, but I cannot see how anyone in either Town would not identify high turnover as a problem in Wenham town government of late, or recognize that Hamilton has been providing sound fiscal leadership, especially as it pertains to school cost containment and taxpayer relief.

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