About Two Dozen Vie to Become Haverhill’s Next Police Chief; City Decides Against Outside Testing

Haverhill's Bailey Boulevard police station. (WHAV News file photograph.)

About two dozen applicants met Tuesday’s deadline for expressing interest in becoming Haverhill’s next police chief.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini quoted consultant Alan S. Gould as saying the city received “a great pool of applicants” from both within the department and outside. Gould, a former 21-year Salem, N.H., police officer, who now operates Municipal Resources, is reviewing and ranking potential police chiefs. Unlike the recent search for a deputy police chief, Fiorentini said he is not hiring an outside assessment center to screen candidates.

“I don’t see the advantage of doing an assessment center at this time. If it turns out after the interviews, we need to do one, we can reassess it,” he said.

The mayor said using an assessment center has helped him choose other appointments. He previously described the role of such a service as having experts ask questions and test potential hires.

Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro, who previously planned to retire this month, stepped down in May. Former Deputy Police Chief Anthony L. Haugh was brought out of retirement to serve as acting police chief for an estimated two months.

The city has seen major changes in the leadership of its public safety departments because of retirements. Besides DeNaro and Haugh, Fire Chief William F. Laliberty retired in January and was succeeded by 28-year department veteran and Deputy Robert M. O’Brien. Stephen J. Doherty Jr., a 26-year veteran of the force, succeeded Haugh as deputy police chief.

As WHAV previously reported, the police chief’s salary was advertised as being in the “low $200s.” The mayor said in a statement last month, “the search for DeNaro’s replacement will be a public process open to internal applicants as well as applicants from Massachusetts and other states and would be similar to the process used to hire a superintendent of schools.”

DeNaro was appointed in 2002 by former Mayor John J. Guerin Jr.

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