The next Andover police chief has deployed to Bosnia and Iraq with the U.S. Army, investigated major crimes in town as a detective and inspected other police departments for the state.
Police Sgt. Pat Keefe was appointed by Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski at a selectmen meeting Monday to replace outgoing Chief Brian Pattullo, who will retire July 31 after 32 years of service to the town. The board will vote to officially approve the appointment Monday, March 4.
The town considered only current police department members, and Keefe was one of five internal candidates who originally expressed interest in leading Andover's force. Of those five, one didn't apply and a second dropped out of the running prior to the beginning of an $15,000 assessment-center process that throws difficult scenarios at the candidates to see how they react.
Keefe said felt the position would "be interesting, but challenging too."
"I've always wanted to finish my career off as chief or commander of a department," he said.
He is an Andover resident with four children in the town schools, who said he spends most of his free time with his family.
Keefe, hired by the department as a patrolman in June 1998, is a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Army with deployments in Bosnia and Iraq, the latter during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He's also a 15-year member of the Mass. National Guard, where he is a lieutenant colonel and "marked for higher office, or a higher rank," Stapczynski said.
Keefe served as a detective in the Andover Police Department starting in January 2001, and was responsible for investigating major crimes including armed robberies, sexual assaults and property crimes, according to Stapczynski.
During that time, Keefe conducted background checks on new hires for both the fire and police departments, according to Stapczynski. He was promoted to sergeant in July 2009.