NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 7, 2012

Police get new deputy chief in Mike Gallagher

Michael Gallagher, a 23-three year police veteran, recently took over as the department’s new deputy police chief, appointed by Chief Lee Bitomske, and approved by town selectmen.

“Mike was my right-hand man while I was deputy chief and while I was interim chief when (former) chief Pat Manthorn was out,” Bitomske said. “He worked his way up through the ranks and his work ethic is very good. We work well together. I think he’ll do a great job.”

Gallagher, 50, began his career in law enforcement in Seabrook in 1989, shortly after leaving the Army, where he served in special operations. Gallagher has done just about every job in the department, including being its court prosecutor. He received his sergeant’s stripes in 2002, and was Seabrook’s chief of detectives for years. He was appointed lieutenant four years ago by Manthorn.

“I’ve said this before, but Chief Bitomske and I have a similar vision and we’re a good team,” Gallagher said. “There’s a lot of positive feelings right now throughout the department.”

Gallagher is the father of three children — daughter Melissa and sons Zachary and Patrick. He has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 18 years. A native of Peabody, Gallagher, has been a New Hampshire resident since he began working in Seabrook, and currently lives in Danville.

Gallagher is probably best known for starting Seabrook’s prescription drug drop box, located in the lobby of the station. Due to his efforts, the Seabrook Police Department was the first in the state to have a place where residents could safely dispose of unused prescription drugs, keeping them out of the hands of children and those who might steal and abuse them.

The program is considered an important strategy in combating the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Seabrook’s program was so successful, it has been replicated and implemented in other police departments.

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