ANDOVER — Police Chief Brian Pattullo is retiring after more than 30 years on the job, half of which was spent at the helm of the town’s police force.
First brought on the force as a patrolman in 1981, Pattullo was promoted to chief in March of 1998. The 54-year-old will officially step down from his $163,000-a-year job July 31.
“It’s not a retirement. I’m leaving the Andover Police Department, but I’m moving on to another challenging chapter,” Pattullo said. “I want to make sure I’m innovative and using my talents as much as I can.”
Pattullo said he plans to become the chief operating officer of a Boston security firm that he declined to name.
Pattullo said his likely successor will be Sgt. Pat Keefe. Selectmen are expected to vote on Keefe’s appointment March 4. Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski said Keefe’s salary is still being negotiated.
“Pat exemplifies the leadership qualities inherent in the chief of police,” Pattullo said. “He’s well-respected by the men and women on the force, even-tempered, a good leader.”
Stapczynski said Pattullo expressed his intention to retire last summer.
“He has done such a marvelous job, it’s sad to see him retire,” Stapczynski said. “We’re very fortunate. A great legacy has been left here in Andover.”
Brian Major, first elected to the Board of Selectmen in 1998, said he remembered voting on Pattullo’s appointment as chief. Pattullo, like Keefe, was a sergeant when he was brought up to lead the force, Major said.
“He was one of the younger officers at that time,” Major said. “Instantaneously, he had full respect of his team, of the guys in the department.”
Major said one of the most distinct aspects of Pattullo’s legacy is how much more visible the police force became in town.