WEST NEWBURY — West Newbury has hired its second full-time female police officer. At the recommendation of police Chief Lisa Holmes, the Board of Selectmen chose Danielle Burrill on Monday night to fill a new position on the force.
At the same meeting the board assigned several other public safety employees to new positions under Holmes’ recommendation.
Last April, Annual Town Meeting voters approved one additional officer for the police department, an accomplishment Holmes has been working toward for years.
Burrill was selected over two other reserve officers after an oral board interview process that police officials from departments in other towns conducted with the three in-house candidates.
Holmes chose this approach because the interviewers had “no direct ties to this department, they do not know any officers, and they had no knowledge of any of the candidates.”
Burrill, along with fellow candidates Rich Parenteau and Sean O’Keefe, was asked for impromptu responses to a variety of hypothetical scenarios as a way to judge how well she communicated and her knowledge of the job, departmental policies and procedures and state laws.
Holmes said Burrill’s prior law enforcement experience, communication skills and composure in fielding the questions “considerably out-shined the other two candidates.”
Since 2003, Burrill has worked as a public safety dispatcher and a reserve patrolman in West Newbury. She was also employed in a similar public safety capacity in Groveland from 2004-2008. As a reserve officer working solo on the overnight shift, Burrill “pretty much outdid her male counterparts in terms of her performance,” said Holmes.
Burrill, whose maiden name is Connolly, grew up in town and is well-known, according to Holmes. She worked at the West Newbury Foodmart during her high school years before graduating from Pentucket High School in 2002. In 2005 she graduated from the Reading Police Academy and went on to earn an associate degree in criminal justice administration from Northern Essex Community College in 2011.