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Selectmen to interview Deputy candidates

September 14, 2015

The Walpole Board of Selectmen will interview three candidates for Deputy Police Chief at a special meeting tomorrow night.

The three candidates for the job are Lieutenant Christopher Mackenzie, Sergeant Joseph Zanghetti, and Detective Sergeant James O’Connell.

In addition to being a current detective, O’Connell served as a Selectman in Walpole from 1992 to 1994.

Mackenzie is the husband of former Selectwoman Nancy Mackenzie.

Chief John Carmichael is recommending that Mackenzie be given the job, but the ultimate decision will be left in the hands of Selectmen.

The Deputy position was left open by the promotion of Carmichael, when former chief Richard Stillman departed to relocate to Maine.

The last time a Deputy was hired, when Deputy Chief Scott Bushway left the department in 2010, the hiring process dissolved into an unnecessary political imbroglio. Selectmen found themselves in the middle of a nasty political fight that divided the police department, and the community, over who should succeed Bushway.

Selectmen now must attempt to avoid provoking a similar hornet’s nest in tomorrow’s meeting.

Selectmen David Salvatore and Cliff Snuffer had previously questioned whether the department needed to fill the Deputy position at all, but the other three Selectmen, Jim Stanton, Mark Gallivan, and Eric Kraus, supported Carmichael’s recommendation to fill the position immediately. The Deputy position was created in 2004.

One area that O’Connell has already told Selectmen he would potentially want to explore if promoted to Deputy is using the former East Walpole Library, now used by the Recreation Department, as a police department substation.

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