ANDOVER — Surrounded by colleagues, friends and family members, Police Chief Brian Pattullo said his good-byes yesterday - his last day at the helm of a department he has run for 15 years.
“This is bittersweet,” said Pattullo, 55. “But I’m excited about leaving, and the department is in great hands.”
Nearly 100 people gathered on the third floor of the police/fire station on North Main Street for a breakfast reception. A more formal, private retirement party was scheduled for tonight.
Pattullo’s assistant, Lisbeth Menard, teared up briefly as she presented the chief with a couple of presents, including a portrait drawn by the department’s sketch artist and a card signed by everyone in the department.
“I’m very sad to see him go,” Menard said. “He was a great boss. We were all part of a team. He never made you feel like an employee.”
Pattullo, addressing the crowd, said he didn’t do it alone.
“Looking back over the last 32 years with the department and the last 15 as chief, I couldn’t do it without everyone here,” he said, specifically mentioning Lt. James Hashem, the number-two officer in the department. “I hired 78 people since taking over as chief, which is a lot of people. This job has touched me in many ways.”
He noted that many retirees had come to the reception. “We have a lot of memories,” he said.
He also thanked his partner of 19 years, Ray Brown, and his mother, Beatrice, who was sitting in a chair. He gave her a kiss on the cheek.
He also thanked several others in attendance, including former North Andover Police Chief Richard Stanley, retired Andover Chief James Johnson and former interim Police Chief Richard Enos, among others.
Then Pattullo took off his chief’s badge and pinned it on the lapel of Sgt. Patrick Keefe, who is taking over the job today.