Updated: Haverhill Police Veteran Doherty Assumes Job of Deputy Police Chief

Haverhill Police Capt. Stephen J. Doherty Jr. accepts his diploma at the conclusion of the 141st Administrative Officers Course at the Southern Police Institute in Louisville, Ky. on May 9, 2019. (Courtesy photograph)

Update: Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s office confirmed the appointment after WHAV first reported the news this morning.

A nearly 25-year veteran of the Haverhill Police force is slated to be formally sworn in as deputy police chief tomorrow morning.

Capt. Stephen J. Doherty Jr. was reportedly promoted this week by Mayor James J. Fiorentini. There has not yet been a public release detailing the appointment from the mayor’s office despite the mayor’s promise in January to fill the vacancy using a process that he called “open, transparent and, above all, fair.” Similarly, despite WHAV’s request, the mayor this week withheld immediate release of the names of five developers vying to redevelop parcels on Merrimack Street. The mayor told WHAV he has 10 days to respond to requests under the state’s public records law—a legal interpretation WHAV News vigorously disputes.

Multiple sources report having seen Doherty already performing the duties of the job, filling the seat vacated by Deputy Police Chief Anthony L. Haugh who retired in January. The mayor also said previously the city would use an outside consultant to recommend applicants.

Nearly two years ago, Doherty completed a semester at the prestigious Southern Police Institute as part of the 141st Administrative Officers course. He was one of 45 students representing 37 agencies from 16 states nationwide to take part in the program. The sole student from Massachusetts, Doherty was one of two students to receive the J. Allen Lamb and Edward S. Pocock III Foundation/Southern Police Institute AOC New England Scholarship.

Doherty joined the force in 1998. He could not be reached for comment before news deadline.

The city has also advertised the job of police chief, held by Alan R. DeNaro who is expected to retire next month. The starting salary is described in the job posting as being in the “low $200s.” Applications are due June 1.

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