NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 8, 2013

Amesbury names new police chief

AMESBURY — A succession plan more than three years in the making came to fruition yesterday when Amesbury police Chief Mark Gagnon announced his retirement and his second-in-command, Lt. Kevin Ouellet, was named the department’s new chief effective July 1.

While city and police officials announced last November they were planning for Gagnon’s imminent retirement, planning had begun the moment Gagnon was tapped to replace the retiring Michael Cronin in 2010. Upon his hiring, Gagnon signed a five-year contract and this fiscal year will earn $160,631. Ouellet’s salary and contract have not been finalized.

Yesterday, the 56-year-old Gagnon said when he accepted the top job, it was with the mindset that he’d be in command for up to five years. With that in mind, the decision was made right away to groom Ouellet to someday succeed him should he want the job. To that end, Gagnon said he made sure Ouellet attended Amesbury department head meetings and accompanied him to chief-related events across the region.

“That’s been a fantastic experience because we’ve shared the load, worked as a team,” Gagnon said.

During those years, Gagnon, known throughout the city for his community outreach initiatives and his accessibility to the public, ensured Ouellet followed the same pattern.

Gagnon’s outstanding attention to community involvement was mentioned several times yesterday during a brief press conference inside the police department’s roll call room. Also in attendance was Lt. Jeffrey Worthen, who was named second-in-command by Ouellet.

Worthen, 50, was promoted to lieutenant in 2010 at the same time Gagnon replaced Cronin and Ouellet assumed executive officer duties. Before that he served as a sergeant shift supervisor for 10 years. Back in the early 1980s, Worthen and Gagnon worked together at the Salisbury Police Department before Worthen joined Amesbury police in 1983.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Special Features