Picking a New Police Chief

Although Mayor Dan Rizzo is not making public statements about exactly what he wants to do to remake the police department, there has been a great deal of talk from his camp that Revere’s present police Chief Terence Reardon is up for replacement.

Reardon, it is believed, will either be removed and replaced or run out the last 8 months on his city contract. This will be entirely up to Mayor Rizzo.

He isn’t saying what he is planning to do. But we know he is thinking about the issue and will be making some kind of decision and sooner rather than later.

If Chief Reardon is removed by the mayor, he will return to the force as a captain with a yet to be determined position in the department.

There are presently less than 100 men and women members of the Revere Police Department. The force could legitimately use an additional ten to 15 more police officers.

The force also suffers from a severe morale problem. Newer officers who take their work seriously, and who are actually working a patrol car on the streets of this city, are woefully undermanned. At times, overnight, there are as few as four RPD officers patrolling the city. One might well ask, where are the other 90 or so officers?

According to an RPD police official, as many as 30 officers are involved in what are referred to as special assignments inside the police station when in reality, the greatest need is for officers out and patrolling the city 24/7.

With all so many senior officers and many junior officers confined to the police station under the guise of special assignments (a captain handles court duties) there are precious few bodies available for police outside of the police station.

The special duty officers inside the station don’t make arrests, don’t investigate crimes, don’t perform leadership roles for officers in the street.

“In fact, the people inside don’t understand the needs of those trying to patrol the city all day everyday. They are out of touch and frankly, it is as if they don’t exist. For those working the streets in this city, that knowledge is a bit overwhelming. When you are one of only four officers patrolling a city of almost 60,000 people, you tend to get a bit overwhelmed,” said the senior officer, who wished to remain unnamed.

Mayor Rizzo knows this needs to rectified. He also knows the force needs more officers.

However, more officers slipping and sliding into the arcane system already in place will be lost to more special assignments without ever seeing a moment of duty on the streets of this city.

Revere needs a minimum of 8-ten officers patrolling the city 24/7. Anything less makes the notion that the RPD is being managed correctly a laugh.

Mayor Rizzo is apparently leaning toward choosing Lt. Joe Cafarelli, a former Marine and longtime member of the force. He is regarded as a straight, strict police officer who knows what ought to be done.

In any case, the mayor is planning to act and soon.

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