The Amesbury Beat: Changing of the guard with column

Good morning/afternoon Amesbury!

As Chief William Scholtz mentioned in last week’s article, all of his command staff will be trying to fill the shoes of Officer Thomas Hanshaw by submitting weekly watchwords.

After having worked alongside Tom for the past 22 years, I can honestly say this challenge will be difficult but in Tommy’s own words, “It’s not impossible, Lieutenant.”

With that, let me introduce myself. My name is Lt. Craig J. Bailey, and I am the executive officer (second in command) of the Amesbury Police Department. At this point, most, if not all of you, are asking, “What the heck is a lieutenant” and more importantly, “What the heck does a police executive officer do?”

Well, hopefully with a little background on myself, I’ll be able to answer those two questions for you.

Born and raised in Amesbury by my two amazing parents (Jack and Murray), I graduated from Amesbury High school and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1990. Upon graduation from boot camp, I was assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Chase, a 378-foot vessel, and toured several foreign countries, including Russia, Japan and Cuba.

In 1993, I left the Chase after being promoted and was assigned to a joint law enforcement division in Boston Harbor working with Boston Police, Environmental Police and the Massachusetts State Police.

It was there that I found my calling and in 1997, I was fortunate enough to be hired by the Amesbury Police Department as a patrol officer under Chief Michael Cronin and Amesbury’s first mayor, the Honorable Nicholas Costello.

As a freshly hired patrol officer, my duties, in addition to my general patrol responsibilities, included assignment to the department’s crash reconstruction unit, dive team, honor guard and motorcycle unit.

In 2001, I earned my graduate degree from Western New England University and in 2007 was commissioned as an officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

I am currently serving as a lieutenant commander assigned as the operations officer at U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit 305 based out of Fort Eustis, Virginia. In 2009, I was promoted to the rank of sergeant with the Amesbury Police Department and was the shift commander on overnights.

My collateral duties as sergeant included the department's training officer, communications officer and accreditation manager.

In 2016, I was promoted to detective lieutenant and placed in charge of the department’s detective unit, internal affairs division and officer in charge of all the Police Department’s specialty units to include crime scene, photography, evidence, arson investigation and court prosecution.

Finally, in February 2017, I was promoted to executive officer (second in command) of the Amesbury Police Department and I have the privilege of working directly for Chief Scholtz. Personally, I own a home in Amesbury, am the father of two amazing boys who both attend Amesbury Middle School, and we all enjoy boating in our free time.

So as you may notice, I am completely vested in Amesbury. I love the city, the people, the atmosphere, the schools, the downtown, the parks and the people. Did I mention the people?

I am incredibly excited to not only be part of this amazing team here at the department, but to be able to be in a position where I can now give back to the community that has given me so much. The chief said it best last week but in my words, the community policing program that Officer Hanshaw worked so hard to develop will only get better.

We owe that to Tommy and to the city. Through city events, and positive community contacts, I look forward to meeting more and more of you all every day.

If you see me on the road, please say “Hi” and allow me to thank you for allowing me to serve such a great city and more importantly, such a great community!


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