Methuen's new police chief

Scott McNamara will be Methuen's next police chief, it was announced Tuesday.

METHUEN — Meet the city’s new police chief: Scott McNamara.

McNamara was appointed by Mayor Neil Perry Tuesday after what Perry called a “highly competitive selection process” and three rounds of interviews in front of a community panel and the City Council. McNamara was chosen for the job over Salem, New Hampshire, Deputy Police Chief Shane Smith.

“This was an extremely difficult decision as both candidates did a fantastic job in all three of their interviews as well as with questions from the City Council,” Perry said in a statement Tuesday. “I knew both men had the capacity to do the job, but in McNamara I saw a poise and calm leadership capacity that can continue the progress we have made with the Methuen Police Department in this community. This decision was not made lightly, and I look forward to partnering with Chief McNamara to continue working on 21st century policing in Methuen."

McNamara comes to Methuen from the Lawrence Police Department, where he serves as captain of the department’s bureau of professional standards. He has more than 25 years of law enforcement experience.

“I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to lead the men and women of the Methuen Police Department as their next chief,” McNamara said. “I recognize this is an important moment in time for the city of Methuen, a time to put the past behind us and focus our collective efforts on the promise of the future.”

In his statement, McNamara said he looks forward to winning over the trust of not only residents, but members of the department he now leads.

“I’m honored to have won the confidence of Mayor Perry, but I also understand the real challenge lies ahead,” McNamara said. “That challenge is earning the confidence of the men and women of the Methuen Police Department and the citizens of Methuen as a whole, I intend to do just that.”

The appointment of McNamara will be on the City Council agenda for the Sept. 7 meeting, at which time the council must vote to approve his appointment, per the city charter.

McNamara replaces Joseph Solomon, who retired in January after being placed on paid administrative leave following a department audit and a report from the state Inspector General's office. Both reports accused Solomon and some of his superior officers, including Capt. Greg Gallant, of wrongdoing. Gallant was also placed on paid administrative leave.

This is a breaking story. A complete report will appear online at and in tomorrow's print edition of The Eagle-Tribune.

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