NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

December 7, 2012

Police get new deputy chief in Mike Gallagher

Seabrook Town Notebook
Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — 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.

The grandson of a police officer who served in Lynn from 1911 to 1946, Gallagher keeps a memento of that family history with him. When Gallagher first became a police officer, his mother, Helen, gave him his grandfather’s retirement badge.

“That’s in my uniform pocket to this day,” Gallagher said.

---

Friends of the Seabrook Rail Trail invite everyone to join them at the local Applebee’s Restaurant tomorrow for “Dining To Donate.”

Those who eat at the restaurant and present one of the group’s fliers will get 15 percent off their bill, which will be donated by Applebee’s to the group’s efforts to create a biking and recreation trail in Seabrook along its abandoned railroad beds.

Fliers can be printed by going to the group’s Facebook page or can be picked up at the Seabrook recreation center, library or Town Hall as well as at Richdale’s, Recycle Sports, Riverside Cycles in Newburyport, Paul’s Sportswear and Ski Shop in Salisbury and Gus’ Bike Shop in Hampton.

---

Children’s holiday activities are in full swing at Seabrook Public Library. Next on the calendar is Drop-In Christmas Crafts on Monday, Dec. 10, and Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Family Holiday Story Time on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m.

A special holiday movie will be screened on Friday, Dec. 14, at 3:30 p.m. and a seasonal favorite, the Polar Express Story Time, will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 4 p.m. for children up to 4 years old and at 6 p.m. for older children.

Library Director Ann Robinson said a Solstice Party in celebration of the shortest day of the year will be held Friday, Dec. 21, at 3:30 p.m. And children can wind down with Lego Builders on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 3:30 p.m.

Teens haven’t been forgotten; they will be making holiday ornaments and sweets on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Those who haven’t been to the library lately should drop in. They’ll find 400 new items have been added to the collection in the last month, including new DVDs as well as fiction and nonfiction books.

---

Angeljean Chiaramida covers Seabrook for The Daily News. She can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3271, or achiaramida@newburyportnews.com.