John F. Carmichael Jr. will be the next chief of police of the Newton Police Department (NPD) starting in June, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller announced on Thursday.
Fuller’s selection of Carmichael for the position follows his five years of experience as chief of the Walpole Police Department, she said in the statement.
“He has a proven track record of embracing and implementing the principles underlying NPD’s mission of improving the quality of life and supporting the full spectrum of needs for all residents by delivering fair, just, respectful, safe and effective policing,” Fuller wrote.
The previous Newton police chief, David MacDonald, resigned in June and retired a month later after 27 years of service as a police officer and five years as Newton police chief. MacDonald had been considering retirement for some time, according to Fuller.
His resignation came amid protests in Boston and throughout the country in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer she said. In July, Fuller formed the Newton Police Reform Task Force to evaluate the policies, practices, and culture of the NPD following the surge in protests. The task force presented its recommendations last month.
When he stepped down, MacDonald recognized that the department had a lot of work ahead and determined that his successor would be best off starting this work at the beginning stages rather than the implementation stages, according to Fuller.
Following his resignation, Howard Mintz came out of retirement to take over as the interim police chief, where he has served for the past nine months.
“His steady, experienced leadership was essential during this challenging time for the Newton Police Department,” Fuller said.
Carmichael’s appointment is six months in the making, following a nationwide search guided by input from residents, members of the NPD, city councilors, and department heads, such as the superintendent of Newton Public Schools, Fuller said.
“My selection criteria were influenced by the important work of the Newton Police Reform Task Force, the internal Newton Police Department Review Committee and the important discussions throughout the country and the Commonwealth on the future of policing,” Fuller said.
Carmichael began his career in the Military Police Corps. He also previously served as a dispatcher for police, fire, and EMS in Medfield, Mass, and as a police officer sergeant, deputy chief, and chief in Walpole, Mass.
He holds a bachelor of science in law enforcement from Western New England University and a master of arts in criminal justice from Curry College. Carmichael also completed the FBI National Academy for law enforcement in 2021, according to Fuller.
“Chief Carmichael has a proven track record of moving the Walpole Police Department forward based on collaborative partnerships between the department and people across the community, Fuller said. “He has consistently led with the philosophy of treating people with fairness, dignity and respect. He insists on decision making that is impartial and unbiased as well as transparent and open.”
Featured Image by Keara Hanlon / Heights Staff