By Dave Rogers
---- — GEORGETOWN — Less than two days after Georgetown police Lt. Donald Cudmore was unanimously chosen by selectmen to be the department’s next chief, the longtime Georgetown resident got a chance to meet many of his future peers at an Essex County chiefs meeting Wednesday.
In addition to meeting with the county’s police chiefs, Cudmore greeted state representatives and senators from the region. The annual meeting, this year held in Middleton, gives law enforcement officials the opportunity to sit down with local lawmakers to discuss their needs and hear the latest from Beacon Hill.
The meeting gave his soon-to-be-retiring boss, Chief Jim Mulligan, a great opportunity to announce the news.
“I was extremely excited about the announcement and obviously very proud to be the next chief of Georgetown,” Cudmore said yesterday.
Cudmore, 49, succeeds Mulligan, who last month announced he was stepping down after 10 years leading the force when his contract expires at the end of June. The department includes 11 full-time officers including Mulligan, 16 reserve officers and a handful of support staff and dispatchers.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of serving the community,” Cudmore said. “I live in the community, so I am a very large stakeholder.”
Cudmore was one of two finalists for the position. Last month, Mulligan expressed his hope that his successor would be someone within his department.
Cudmore joined the department in March 1985. During the last 28 years, he has risen from full-time officer to sergeant in 2004 and lieutenant in 2009. In 2011, Cudmore graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., after completing a 10-week training session. There he earned a coveted yellow brick after completing a more than 5-mile-long obstacle course and a blue brick for swimming 50 miles in the academy pool.
“That was probably the pinnacle of my law enforcement career. It was an extreme honor and I’m forever grateful for the town of Georgetown for sponsoring me to attend,” Cudmore said.
Over the last five years, Cudmore said, the department has significantly revamped its policies and standards as part of its accreditation process with the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission. In 2008, the department received accreditation, meaning that the department has established codes of conduct and policing methods that provide a norm for its personnel to follow and a basis to correct deficiencies that arise internally or through public feedback. In 2012, the department was awarded re-accreditation, meaning that it has adhered to its own policies.
“Our next mission is to look operationally to provide more consistent patrol coverage, particularly in the day shift,” Cudmore said, adding it is his goal to get officers out of the station as much as possible and patrolling the town’s streets.
As for his retiring boss, Cudmore had nothing but praise for the man who promoted him three times during his 10 years as chief.
“The chief was most certainly a big influence to me and as a mentor. I find myself many times referencing things that he’s counseled me on, so I’ll always remember the times with Chief Mulligan and I will bring of some that administrative style,” Cudmore said.