During his years as a reserve officer for Salisbury and his time at the academy, Dellaria honed his ability to see beyond what the untrained eye would call mundane or harmless and spot possible trouble on a dime. He credits fellow Salisbury officers Keith Forget, James Leavitt, current Amesbury police officer Craig Lesage and Sgt. Timothy Hunter as his tutors, trainers and friends.
“They taught me what looks normal and what doesn’t,” Dellaria says.
Dellaria also credits Fowler’s style as making a significant impact inside the Railroad Avenue police station.
“He’s a very professional and approachable chief. I don’t think anyone wants to disappoint him,” Dellaria says.
After years of internal turmoil beginning shortly after the hiring of former Chief David L’Esperance, continuing with former acting Chief Kevin Sullivan and culminating with the retirement of longtime sergeant-turned chief Merrill, Fowler’s hire seems to have calmed tensions within and outside the department.
L’Esperance was relieved of duty in December 2010 by Town Manager Neil Harrington amidst allegations he engaged in criminal behavior while chief. L’Esperance retired soon after the allegations came to light and was found not guilty on theft charges related to his alleged actions.
“Guys want to go out and work, they want to work. We’ve moved past the distractions, we’re all friends. Honestly, everybody is getting along,” Dellaria says.
Proof of Dellaria’s commitment to hard work can be seen in the department’s police log, which lists arrests, summonses, traffic stops, property checks, suspicious behavior calls and other activity. On drug arrests, car chases, physical confrontations and domestic disputes, Dellaria’s name is mentioned regularly. Less than two years on the job, Dellaria’s reputation as an officer who enjoys heavy lifting has spread throughout the department. With a smile, Dellaria acknowledges his fondness for high-call volumes and night shifts over days.