Police Chief Guillemette To Retire In July

by William F. Galvin
Police Chief David Guillemette (left) with Deputy Police Chief Kevin Considine. Guillemette  will be retiring on July 2. Considine is in the running for the new chief's position. FILE PHOTO Police Chief David Guillemette (left) with Deputy Police Chief Kevin Considine. Guillemette will be retiring on July 2. Considine is in the running for the new chief's position. FILE PHOTO

HARWICH – Police Chief David Guillemette has announced that he will retire on July 2.

Guillemette has been serving as chief since July 2015. He replaced Police Chief William Mason, who retired in 2015. Guillemette came to the position after 28 years in the Sandwich Police Department, where he was a lieutenant in charge of operations. He was a 2013 graduate of the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Va.

The select board was scheduled Monday night to discuss and consider the appointment of Deputy Police Chief Kevin Considine as the next chief of police, but the meeting was canceled due to a lack of quorum.

Under state statutes police chiefs are required to retire at age 65. Guillemette will be 60 in July. He will have served as a police officer for 37 years in May. He said he is definitely retiring, explaining that he and his wife have been talking about the move for a couple of years. He said he wants to stay busy, but not in police work.

“I didn’t want to be dragged out by my feet; sometimes chiefs can stay too long,” said Guillemette, who will have served as Harwich chief just a few days short of nine years when he retires in July.

“It’s been a real honor and privilege to serve with such a great group of people. Their hearts are in the right place and they are doing the best for the public,” he said.

When Guillemette was hired, he spoke of the need to train officers so they are in a position to climb the ladder in the department so a new chief can be appointed from within. He re-emphasized that model of advancement again this week, speaking in support of the appointment of Considine.

“Kevin has taken on jobs as a leader. He is clearly ready,” Guillemette said. “He has taken each position very, very seriously. It’s deserving. Kevin has done a great job developing relationships across town.”

“Chief Guillemette has been a great mentor to me since his arrival here in Harwich nine years ago, and his leadership and mentorship are what have led me here today to be considered for this position,” Considine wrote in a letter to the select board expressing his interest in the position. “I have developed and demonstrated strong supervisory, administrative leadership, and decision-making skills that I will continue to demonstrate every day as chief of police.”

Considine has been with the police department for close to 27 years. He served as a lieutenant for five years and was appointed deputy police chief in March 2019. He has a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

“What I am most proud of is my work with the community,” he wrote. “I have a deep commitment to our citizens and have been active within our community since I began my career. If fortunate enough to be selected for this position, I would continue my passion of collaborating with our community.”

Considine grew up in Franklin where he met Bob Currie, who was an English teacher at Franklin High School and a special police officer during the summer in Harwich. As a high school student, Considine would periodically see a Harwich police cruiser at the school. Currie would take the vehicles to a nearby vehicle maintenance facility, he recalled. Considine told Currie he was interested in law enforcement, and the teacher/special police officer received permission to take Considine along on rides while on duty in Harwich.

“This allowed me to see the department and the line of work. I’ll always credit Bob Currie for getting me in the door,” Considine said in an interview. “I love being here, and in Harwich and this department. If it all works out, I’ll feel fortunate and humbled.”

The police and fire departments have a robust intern program for seniors at Monomoy Regional High School today, he said. The program allows students to learn about operations; hopefully it attracts graduates to consider careers in the department, he said.

Considine serves as the Barnstable County representative to the Special Olympics. He runs the Harwich Polar Plunge, an event held at Red River Beach each March that raises funds to help offset the Special Olympics of Massachusetts annual budget. Last year the event raised more than $45,000. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, March 16.

Last June Considine was selected to be one of 100 police officers from around the world to carry the Flame of Hope through Germany and into the opening ceremony for the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin.

Last Monday’s agenda has been moved to the Feb. 5 board meeting, at which time the board is expected to consider the appointment of Considine as the next chief.