City of Chicopee moves forward with Chief of Police hiring process

City of Chicopee moves forward with Chief of Police hiring
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 8:32 PM EDT
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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -The city of Chicopee is now moving forward with the process of hiring a new Police Chief.

The process was paused when Mayor John Vieau learned of the FBI investigation into Lynn Clark, but he said the city needs a permanent chief.

“First and foremost, we’re excited about picking a new Chief,” said Mayor Vieau.

For much of the last two years, the City of Chicopee has been working with an acting Police Chief.

In late 2021, the city began a three-tiered process to hire a new Chief, which Mayor Vieau said should have taken about six months.

Initially, four Police captains initially entered the process.

“One of them chose not to participate and never showed up to orientation. The other three went through the assessment center. We received those results back in December. We also found out about some information where there was potential blackmail going on in the pd and we completely paused that process,” explained Mayor Vieau.

Mayor Vieau told Western Mass News that once he was given the all-clear to continue the hiring process, it picked up with two candidates, current acting police chief Jeffrey Gawron and Captain Patrick Major.

The third candidate, who the FBI said was involved in the extortion case surrounding Chicopee Schools Superintendent Lynn Clark was given a chance to re-join the process, but chose not continue on.

“We can’t force them to go through the interview process. So we have two viable candidates who are very well qualified,” said Mayor Vieau.

Both Gawron and Major have been with the department for decades.

Mayor Vieau said a panel interviewed both men Friday.

The panel consisted of Mayor Vieau, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi and other members of Chicopee city and school leadership.

Mayor Vieau said the Chief of Police is a permanent hire, not a contract position. He said he hopes to know within the next few days who the next Chief of Police in Chicopee will be.