Methuen Exchange Club Names Lt. James Gunter as 2021 Police Officer of the Year

Lt. James Gunter was selected as the 2021 Methuen Exchange Club Police Officer of the Year. (Courtesy photograph.)

Methuen Police Lt. James Gunter is the 2021 Methuen Exchange Club Police Officer of the Year.

Gunter was recognized at an awards ceremony Tuesday at the Irish Cottage in Methuen. He was nominated for the award by Capt. Randy Haggar for his leadership qualities, professionalism, dedication, compassion, ability to inspire and motivate others, as well as his willingness to help those in need. He also was chosen due to his positive influence on staff throughout the department.

Chief Scott J. McNamara said, “While this honor is usually awarded to officers based on a specific act of heroic service, Lt. Gunter embodies what is it to be a hero on a daily basis, including through his efforts to support his fellow officers’ mental health and wellbeing.”

Gunter joined the Methuen Police Department in 1998 as a police officer and was promoted to sergeant in 2007 and lieutenant in 2018. Over the past year, Gunter has put into place a Critical Incident Stress Management Team within the department. It provides support to officers and professional staff who have responded to serious, critical or tragic calls for service that are especially difficult to process.

Mayor Neil Perry said Gunter “demonstrates his ability to inspire others to work cooperatively and effectively to make the department the best it can be at serving the city of Methuen’s residents.”

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