“Brian Pattullo has been an amazing chief of police. I think the town will really miss him,” Selectman Paul Salafia said. “We’ll pick a great successor, but that guy... will have big shoes to fill.”
“I’ve known he is considering it, and I tried to talk him out of it. But it’s hard to talk him out of it because it’s his time for it,” Salafia said. “It’s a very demanding job, and being police chief takes a lot out of you. It was time for him. I think he was ready to move to something different, something he thinks will be a little more challenging for him, in a different way. It’s hard to compete with that.”
“He let Buzz know that he was intending to retire back this past summer, with the whole intent that it would give Buzz a chance to think about the process of replacing him,” Selectman Brian Major said.
Major was a new selectman when Pattullo became chief.
“He was one of the younger officers at that time. I think he was probably about 40 years old. Very well respected, had done a lot with helping to put structure together within the department,” Major said. “He instituted a lot of the things like having policemen visible downtown, putting them on bicycles, walking around downtown... It was all a sense of getting the police department visible so they could associate with people.”
There was noted turmoil in the department, with several union members pursuing grievances. That has changed.
“I work very well with the unions,” said Pattullo. “It’s about give and take. We sit down and talk things out. I’ve had very few grievances leave my office and go to the town manager.”
Asked if he has any regrets he said, “We still have a very active double murder case that we’re still working. That’s the major focus of the department. I don’t know if that’s a regret, but that’s ongoing and will continue until it’s resolved.”
Pattullo also said he wished he could have brought in more than the current 54 officers, saying he believes a town the size of Andover really needs 65 officers.