South

MARION

Veteran officer named Marion’s next police chief

The Board of Selectmen recently named Marion police Lieutenant John Garcia, a 30-year veteran of the department, as the next police chief effective next Jan. 1.

Garcia will succeed Chief Lincoln Miller, who retires Dec. 31 after 17 years as chief and 35 years with the department.

Selectmen decided earlier this fall they would seek applications for the chief’s position from within the department’s existing command staff and depending on the response potentially open the search to other candidates, according to Town Administrator Paul Dawson.

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Two officers -- Garcia and Sergeant Richard Nighelli -- applied, and after interviewing the two candidates, selectmen voted to appoint Garcia.

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Joining the department as a patrol officer in 1987, Garcia was promoted to sergeant in 2000, and lieutenant in 2004.

Dawson said selectmen concluded that Garcia’s extensive experience, including the role he played in securing the department’s professional accreditation and in technology upgrades, was a key factor in his selection by the board.

John Laidler can be reached at john.laidler@globe.com.