Special to the Journal
Mayor Brian M. Arrigo this week named Lieutenant Dave Callahan as Revere’s new Chief of Police, effective July 1. Callahan, 51, replaces retiring interim Chief James Guido.
The move comes as law enforcement departments across the country confront the challenges to public safety posed by the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest regarding racial injustice in America, and shifting attitudes about crime and the police officer’s role in the community.
“Dave Callahan is the type of talented and conscientious individual whose leadership qualities are imperative in a modern urban police department,” said Mayor Arrigo. “His commitment to fairness, his compassion for people, and his ingrained respect for our City especially qualify him to lead our Police Department as Revere continues to grow and diversify.”
Callahan, who joined the Revere Police in 1991 after two years as a patrol officer in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, cites his tenure on the Revere force and his deep-rooted familiarity with the city as key factors of his qualifications. “As police officers, it is imperative that we hold the highest standard and that we are known for our integrity,” he said. “My extensive experience in the field, supervisory roles, and collaborating with other law enforcement agencies has prepared me well to lead the police department. I look forward to work with the outstanding men and women who comprise the RPD.”
Callahan attained the rank of Lieutenant in the Revere Police Department in 2003. A popular figure among his department colleagues for his tireless work and motivational personality, Callahan advocates community policing as “an essential element of a successful municipality.”
“Every neighborhood,” he says, “deserves to be a place where people want to live and safely raise their families.”
Callahan served as Commander of the Drug Control Unit and also was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Unitfrom 2004 to 2012. “During that time, I cultivated a strong relationship with outside agencies such as the Massachusetts State Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. We worked together to build substantial cases.”
In particular, Callahan spearheaded a public corruption investigation of a fellow officer who ultimately was arrested by the FBI and charged with federal criminal violations. “This was an officer who betrayed the oath we have all taken. His criminal actions tarnished the honest and dedicated work of all law enforcement.”
Callahan also played a major role in shutting down a narcotics distribution enterprise operating out of the defunct Ocean Lodge Motel on Revere Beach Boulevard. More than 20 individuals were arrested. In addition, his investigative work led to the prosecution of four U.S. Postal workers who used their mail carrier routes to facilitate cocaine and marijuana distribution.
He was awarded the Massachusetts State Police Medal of Merit in 2012 for his action during the hazardous conditions that erupted into an eight-alarm fire after a fatal tractor-trailer rollover on Route 1 in Saugus. Callahan’s, off-duty at the time, was one of first people on the scene. He called for emergency assistance while assisting four injured motor vehicle passengers and then evacuated an elderly resident whose nearby home had become engulfed in flames.
Since 2012, Lieutenant Callahan has served as the Group Commander of the Night Patrol Division, overseeing 16 officers in addition to responding to calls.
Mayor Arrigo praised Callahan’s record of accomplishment and his appreciation for teamwork in law enforcement. “Lieutenant Callahan is active in community outreach and is well-acquainted with the most demanding issues that face our City. He has extensive contacts to the “Revere Cares” program administered by the Massachusetts General Hospital and has worked closely with the North Suffolk Mental Health Collaborative both as a police officer and as a volunteer. He understands the human side that underlies the complex issues that plague our community and modern society.”
Lieutenant Callahan holds a Bachelor of Science degree Law Enforcement and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, both from Western New England University. He has completed extensive supplementary training through the FBI-LEEDA program, including certifications from the Supervisor Leadership Institute, the Command Institute for Law Enforcement Executives, and the Executive Leadership Institute. In 2012 he earned a certificate from the FBI National Police Academy. He also holds a certificate in Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings from New Mexico Tech. Chief Callahan and his wife Rhonda have a daughter, Cadence. The son of Charles and Janet Callahan and his step-mother Judith Callahan, David was raised in Revere and attended the Lincoln School leading up to his graduation from Revere High School, Class of 1987. He is the grandson of the late Victor and Nellie Duca of Revere. He has two step-sisters, Lee Venezia and Lauren. Lieutenant Callahan’s brother Chuck is a sergeant in the Revere Police Department.