SEABROOK — After more than 34 years with the Seabrook Police Department, including the last four as chief, Patrick Manthorn is retiring.
Selectmen announced yesterday that Manthorn had sent an email notifying officials of his intent to retire from a career that saw the former U.S. Marine rise through the ranks to assume the duties of chief in February 2008.
Since they only learned about Manthorn’s decision yesterday, selectmen did not say how they would proceed in choosing his permanent replacement. In August, selectmen appointed then Deputy Chief Lee Bitomske to the position of interim chief.
Plagued by illness is recent years, Manthorn has been on sick leave since April. Former colleague and recently retired Seabrook police officer Jim Cawley said his advice to his former chief is to “take one day at a time and enjoy life.”
“I wish him well, and I hope his health improves; that’s the most important factor,” Cawley said.
Born in Ipswich and raised in Hamilton, Manthorn, 60, joined the department in 1978, earning his sergeant’s stripes in 1981. He was appointed deputy chief by then chief David Currier in 2004, and became chief when Currier retired in 2008.
His grown sons, Patrick Jr. and Gregory, pinned the chief’s stars on their father at his swearing in ceremony, with his “wife, partner and best friend” Carol looking on. The couple lives in Hampton.
“I’ve worked with Pat for 23 years,” police Lt. Michael Gallagher said yesterday after learning the news. “He was my road sergeant when I started. I always thought he was a good leader. He was a pleasure to work with and I wish him the best.”
Starting in 1980, Bitomske was also under Manthorn’s tutelage.
“He was my patrol sergeant and I had a lot of fun working with Pat,” Bitomske said. “We didn’t always agree on everything, no one does, but I had a lot of good times with him. I wish him well in his retirement and I hope he catches a lot of big stripers.”