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Veteran lieutenant chosen as Malden’s next police chief

A 33-year veteran of the Malden Police Department, Lieutenant Kevin Molis, has been selected as the city’s new police chief, Mayor Gary Christenson said last Wednesday.

Molis and another finalist were interviewed this month by an eight-member search panel appointed by Christenson. After reviewing a report from the panel last week, Christenson and Police Commissioner Salvatore Gennetti agreed on Molis Wednesday afternoon, Christenson said.

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The panel consisted of School Superintendent David DeRuosi, Human Resources director Eleanor Cushing, City Council president Neal Anderson, City Councilor Barbara Murphy, and four other city residents.

In his Malden police career, Molis, 55, for several years served as the resource officer at Malden High School.

Most recently he led the city’s anticrime unit, a group of plainclothes officers who monitor the city’s crime hot spots, Christenson said. He’s also a regular at the city’s monthly public safety meetings.

‘Ultimately it was Kevin’s strong community presence that put him over the top.’

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“Ultimately it was Kevin’s strong community presence that put him over the top,” Christenson said.

Captain Doug Perrigo has served as acting chief since James Holland retired in February.

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Perrigo retired on Friday, at which point Molis began serving as interim chief. The position will not be permanent until he agrees to a contract with the city, Christenson said.

“Kevin has been within the department for a long time,” Christenson said. “It shouldn’t be too difficult of a transition.”

Holland, who was chief since 2010, earned $123,824 in 2012. He turned 65, the mandatory age of retirement for Massachusetts police officers, in February.

Only internal candidates were considered for the job. Molis and the other finalist, who was not identified by Christenson, were interviewed in private.

Facing a tight time schedule with Perrigo’s departure looming, the city elected not to hold any public interviews.

“We just ran out of time,” Christenson said.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at Bencks.Globe@gmail.com.

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