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Monday, January 3, 2011

Open house to introduce police chief

BROOKLINE – The Board of Selectmen is hosting an open house at Town Hall on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. to introduce the new police chief, William Quigley III.

Quigley is the grandson of William Quigley Sr., who served as the town’s police chief from 1947-58. He comes to the job with 34 years of experience in New Hampshire law enforcement, starting as a police officer in Hollis for three years, beginning in 1976, followed by 24 years of service with the state police, and five years as deputy police chief in Weare.

Most recently, Quigley served as state coordinator for the New Hampshire Drug Education and Classification Program, developing the program into what is considered one of the nation’s most progressive, according to a town official.

The appointment followed an arduous and painstaking process that began after former Police Chief Thomas Goulden was fired in April without cause.

The selectmen appointed a search committee made up of members of the community and worked closely with that group to make a selection.

Among the applicants for the job was Sgt. Michael Kurland, who served as acting chief after Goulden’s firing and until Quigley moved into the chief’s office on Oct. 26.

When the Board of Selectmen announced its pick, following a 45-minute, nonpublic session, all five board members were present.

“We’re relieved and happy,” Board Chairwoman Linda Saari announced.

In a prepared release, the board reviewed the roughly three-month search process that began at the end of June after the board chose a seven-member, citizen search committee. About 19 residents had expressed interest in serving on the volunteer committee.

Selectmen also announced at that time that they planned to hold a public reception later in the year to introduce the new chief to the community.

“We are very enthusiastic about the future of our Police Department. In the coming weeks and months, we believe you will be as well,” read the board’s prepared release.

Years ago, the town elected its police chief at Town Meeting. The chief’s role, however, changed as the town grew, making the selection process more complex and time-consuming.

On a Saturday afternoon in January, however, the gathering inside Town Hall could take a page from Norman Rockwell with a title like this: “Small Talk with the New Chief Over Coffee and Home-Baked Desserts.”

Hattie Bernstein can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 24 or