Joseph Fitzgerald Promoted to Assistant Police Chief
GLOUCESTER, Mass. (January 13, 2020) – Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken announced today the promotion of Joseph Fitzgerald to the position of Assistant Police Chief in the Gloucester Police Department. He most recently served as the Operations Lieutenant since 2018 overseeing the day to day activities of the department.
Fitzgerald was sworn in as Assistant Chief this morning by Assistant City Clerk Grace E. Poirier. A ceremonial City Council swearing in ceremony will be scheduled in the near future.
Mayor Romeo Theken said, “I have complete confidence that Assistant Chief Fitzgerald will excel in this new role. He is well-known, well-respected, trusted and gives the department the internal continuity needed to keep moving in a positive direction. I look forward to working together with Chief Conley and Assistant Chief Fitzgerald to advance the City’s agenda to provide exceptional and transparent public safety services.”
After nearly a year on the job, Police Chief Ed Conley began recruitment for this important leadership position. The Assistant Police Chief will assist the Chief of Police with the overall planning, administration and operation of the police departmentto comply with federal, state and local laws. He will also spearhead GPD’s integrity control processes, oversee all formal internal affairs investigations and supervise the departments’ accreditation process.
Fitzgerald, the most senior Lieutenant on the force, applied for the position. All other Gloucester Police Department Lieutenants supported his application and recommended his appointment.
Fitzgerald said, “I look forward to working alongside Chief Conley on department initiatives while ensuring our rank and file officers have the resources, direction and support they need. I am grateful for this opportunity to continue the work I love in my hometown community. I take this responsibility very seriously and look forward to the work ahead.”
The Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission certification process is long and rigorous involving both an internal self-review and an external assessment by the commission’s team of experts. The process is a self-initiated evaluation considered to be the best measure for a police department to compare itself against the established best practicesaround the country and the region. Chief Conley oversaw the accreditation process while in Manchester-by-the-Sea.
Police Chief Conley said, “On behalf of the entire department I extend my congratulations to Joe Fitzgerald. His professional experience and rise through the ranks of the department will serve the City well. He has been instrumental in my transition to the department and has become a trusted deputy who shares the same values and approach to problem solving as I do. I am excited for the future and direction of the department with Joe as my Assistant Chief. “
Fitzgerald, a Gloucester native, is a nearly 30-year law enforcement veteran. He was first hired by the City of Gloucester as a Reserve Police Officer in 1993. Since that time he has served through the department’s ranks. Prior to his career in Gloucester he worked as a Correctional Officer for the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and as a Police Officer for the Town of Rowley.
This position falls outside of civil service. As a result, Fitzgerald signed a three year employment contract which commenced on January 1. That agreement, like other similar employment contracts, may be extended for two (2) additional one (1) year periods.
He is a graduate of Gloucester High School and holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Western New England University.
This promotion is one of several recent announcements coming out of the Police Department. During her inaugural address Mayor Romeo Theken announced the formation of a new Community Impact Unit that will expand the department’s efforts around addiction, homelessness, mental health and community engagement. To support that work a new position, Community Health Navigator, was created. Tito Rodriquez has been hired to fill that role and will act as an outreach agent to link substance abuse patients with health care providers, financial assistance and transportation.