POLICE CHIEF Nick Secatore has his badge pinned on his uniform by retired Police-Fire Chief Paul Romano during a ceremony held at the Meeting House on Monday night. (Dan Tomasello Photo)
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — The Police Department began a new era on Monday night when Police Chief Nick Secatore and Captain Chris DeCarlo were sworn into their respective positions during a ceremony held at the Meeting House.
Town Administrator Rob Dolan welcomed Secatore and DeCarlo’s families to the ceremony as well as officials, firefighters, and current and retired police officers. Police officers from Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody and Saugus also attended the ceremony.
“We gather to recognize the long and respected history of the Lynnfield Police Department, but more importantly look to the future,” said Dolan. “We are looking forward to a very bright future under Police Chief Nicholas Secatore and Captain Christopher DeCarlo. During my four years working in town, I would describe Chris and Nick as articulate, educated, even-handed, pragmatic, respectful, respected, humble, brave, caring and compassionate. They are loyal to the community and its citizens. They make us proud of our Police Department and what police officers stand for.”
After Centre Congregational Church Rev. Nancy Rottman gave the opening prayer, Select Board Chairman Dick Dalton said the swearing-in ceremony marked “a new era for the Lynnfield Police Department that holds so much promise.”
“What is critical to the success of an organization is its leadership,” said Dalton. “And now more than ever, the leadership of law enforcement is facing challenges that just a few years ago could never have been imagined. And that’s why it’s so important for us entrusted with the responsibility of selecting the individuals to lead the Police Department to ensure the individuals that we appoint have the personal integrity, the management skills, the commitment to the town, the attitude and demeanor to garner the respect of the men and women who serve under their command and, most importantly, to instill and maintain in the residents of this community a strong sense of confidence in their Police Department.”
A humbled captain
Dalton noted that the Select Board appointed DeCarlo as police captain during a brief meeting held before the ceremony.
“Chris is an outstanding individual,” said Dalton. “He transferred from the Winthrop Police Department in 2015. A year later, he was assigned as a part-time detective. He was promoted to sergeant in 2017 and in July 2020, he became the Police Department’s sergeant detective and took over criminal investigations.”
Dalton also said DeCarlo is a member of the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC).
“Chris is assisting the Police Department with rewriting the policy and procedure manuals as well as assessing the department for certification,” said Dalton. “He also serves in the capacity of being the town’s deputy emergency management director. Chris is an attorney and a legal instructor for the Municipal Training Committee. This year, he completed training at the Merrimack College Police Academy, where he taught Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure to a class of recruits. He is a former union representative and is well-respected within the department.”
After Town Clerk Linda Emerson swore in DeCarlo, his mother Janet pinned his badge on his uniform while his wife Nicole and stepfather Jim looked on with pride.
DeCarlo thanked Dolan for supporting his appointment as captain as well as the Select Board for appointing him. He also thanked everyone for coming to the ceremony.
“This is a very humbling experience and I am excited to take on this role,” said DeCarlo. “It is truly an honor. I also want to thank Chief Secatore for supporting me not only today by supporting my appointment as police captain, but throughout my career working for the Lynnfield Police Department. It definitely means a lot to me. I also want to thank all of the Police Department’s members for their support. It’s a great place work as we serve the community. My family decided to move to Lynnfield because of the community, and it has been an incredibly positive experience.”
DeCarlo also thanked his wife Nicole for supporting him over the years while he went to the police academy and law school.
“Nicole has always stood by me,” said DeCarlo. “She is unbelievable.”
After DeCarlo concluded his remarks, he was given a round of applause.
A grateful chief
Dalton recalled that he has known Secatore since he was a young boy growing up in town.
“I have watched Nick as he graduated from Lynnfield High School and Merrimack College,” said Dalton. “From there, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and began a promising career in the financial services industry. But Nick had a calling. He joined the Lynnfield Police Department in 2007 and rose through the ranks.”
Dalton also commended Secatore for “always finding the time to give back to the community.”
“Nick coached wrestling, served as the town’s veterans services officer and serves on the War Memorial Committee,” said Dalton.
Dalton said residents have come up to him and fellow Select Board members Phil Crawford and Joe Connell to commend them for appointing Secatore as police chief. He also said a number of residents praised Secatore’s appointment on social media.
“People were not only expressing their approval of Nick’s appointment, but they were genuinely happy for a person they like and respect,” said Dalton.
After Emerson swore in Secatore, retired Police-Fire Chief Paul Romano pinned the chief’s new badge on his uniform while his wife Jen and mother Cathy looked on with pride.
Secatore thanked his family, friends, fellow police officers and police officers from nearby communities for coming to the ceremony.
“My family and I are very grateful,” said Secatore. “This town has been a great place to work and I owe everything I have achieved to the town. The support and training I have received is the reason why I have been very successful, and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
Secatore recalled that he grew up on Chestnut Street in the 1980s and 1990s.
“I graduated from the Lynnfield Public Schools’ system and I have spent my entire adult life in public service serving either my country or this community,” said Secatore. “I don’t have any special pedigree except for the never-ending drive to excel that I received from my mother. If I can do it, anyone watching can succeed here too.”
After Secatore first joined the Police Department, he recalled that older officers asked him what he learned in the academy.
“I said community policing,” said Secatore. “And they told me they have been community policing in Lynnfield for 100 years.”
Secatore recalled that the community’s support of the Police Department helped the department solve a hate crime last fall.
“The community supported the Police Department and didn’t turn against police when it wasn’t solved the first day, week and month,” said Secatore. “The groups in the community partnered with the Police Department and gave us information that helped us eventually solve the crime. It was a big deal for the town of Lynnfield. We are now hearing about 21st century policing, and justice, equity and accountability in law enforcement. We hear about building trust and accountability in the community. We have been doing that in the town of Lynnfield for 100 years, and we are going to continue to do it. It has been our motto since I walked in the door and it will be our motto moving forward.”
Secatore said DeCarlo will serve as “an ambassador for the department.”
“Chris has done things we never thought would be possible 15 years ago,” said Secatore.
Secatore also noted that the Select Board appointed current Dispatcher Gianfranco Pisano as a new police patrolman during the meeting before the ceremony. He said Pisano will be heading to the academy in mid-January and the Police Department will be fully staffed after he graduates.
“Gianfranco is also a member of the Lynnfield community,” said Secatore. “We are building trust and accountability in the community. They are stakeholders in our community and have an interest in the community.”
After Secatore concluded his remarks, he was given a round of applause.
The ceremony concluded with Rev. Nancy Rottman giving a closing prayer.
“God, give Chief Secatore and Captain DeCarlo the wisdom to serve this community and the strength to do their work,” said Rev. Rottman.