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.

Bob Gray June 28, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Congratulations to Ken. Good luck in your next adventure. PS: Is this another opportunity to revisit joining the Hamilton and Wenham police departments???
Susan Carp June 28, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Ken thank you for your years of service to Wenham! Wishing you the best in your new position!!
Kevin Anderson June 29, 2012 at 02:46 AM
From what I have witnessed and from others here in Wenham including members of our own police department, Hamilton is bad news. I should say Hamilton's police are bad news. It seems as if the Hamilton police can't stay out of trouble for more than a few months. It started with the entire department telling lies about the medical training and has only become worse and worse with each headline. This town should avoid any connection with such a poor example of public servants. Please keep Wenham's finest separate from Hamilton's embarrassment!
Ron Powell June 30, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Well I don't know but I've been told that the Hamilton Police Department has been a class act over the last three years with Russell Stevens as Chief. The two departments appear to work well together -- the apprehension of the package store robber who had been vexing a number of towns up and down the North Shore is but one example of the excellent service that both departments provide. As Wenham is actually understaffed according to FBI staffing recommendations, and Hamilton has a Sergeant vacancy, this would be a perfect time to consider merging the departments. Make the two highest ranking union members -- Thomas C. Perkins and Scott Janes -- Assistant Chiefs, go with the five existing shift commanders, appoint Russell Stevens as acting Chief of the merged department, post the position, and fill it with a Chief for the merged departments. Of course, the two towns could choose to hire Russell Stevens for that position.
Jay Burnham June 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM
...and while we're at it, Wenham could pull out from the untested and potentially costly new regional dispatch center still under construction in Middleton and continue with the excellent system we are already using in Hamilton. Win-win.
Carol A Mazzetta July 01, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I beg to differ Mr Anderson, since the new Chief took over I'm proud to have these men & woman protecting our community. What happened with Officer Nagy was not the fault of the police department but a personal problem. Do us all a favor Mr. Anderson, stay in Wenham!
Carol A Mazzetta July 02, 2012 at 12:00 AM
I totally agree with you Jay. Here we have a system already in progress and run quite efficiently thanks to Annemarie Cullen and her staff.
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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