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Newton, Salem name new police chiefs

John Carmichael Jr., Newton's new police chief, has been the police chief in Walpole since 2015.
John Carmichael Jr., Newton's new police chief, has been the police chief in Walpole since 2015.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

Two prominent Massachusetts cities named new police chiefs Thursday, as heightened scrutiny of police practices has led to a wave of retirements in many departments.

The mayors of Newton and Salem separately announced their departments’ new leaders, stressing their experience and readiness to deal with 21st-century policing issues.

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said she’s selected John F. Carmichael Jr., the chief in Walpole since 2015, to run the city’s police force. Carmichael, who will take office in June, has built a sterling career by policing with “fairness, dignity and respect,” Fuller said in a statement.

“He has a proven track record of embracing and implementing the principles underlying NPD’s mission of improving the quality of life and supporting the full spectrum of needs for all residents by delivering fair, just, respectful, safe and effective policing,” Fuller said.

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He’s worked collaboratively in Walpole with various stakeholders, the mayor continued.

“Chief Carmichael has a proven track record of moving the Walpole Police Department forward based on collaborative partnerships between the department and people across the community,” Fuller said. “He has consistently led with the philosophy of treating people with fairness, dignity, and respect. He insists on decision making that is impartial and unbiased as well as transparent and open.”

He’s also intentionally increased the diversity of the Walpole Police Department, which isn’t part of the state civil service system, according to Fuller.

“His strategic plan for the Walpole Police Department purposefully embraces the philosophy of 21st Century policing and weaves together reform with building trust and police legitimacy with the community and a problem-solving approach that focuses on the root cause of incidents,” Fuller said.

Carmichael, she said, began his law enforcement career in the US Army’s Military Police Corps in 1986 and became a Medfield police dispatcher in 1989. He became a Medfield officer in 1993 and joined the Walpole force three years later, ascending to the rank of sergeant in 2007, detective sergeant in 2009, deputy chief in 2010, and chief in July 2015.

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“Chief Carmichael will join me in speaking with the Newton City Council either later this month or in early May as they undertake their approval process,” Fuller said. “I know Interim Chief [Howard] Mintz will work closely with Chief Carmichael to make the transition seamless when he joins the NPD in early June.”

Carmichael holds a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Western New England University, as well as a master’s in criminal justice from Curry College, according to the statement.

Salem’s new chief will be a 30-year veteran of the New York Police Department who has worked in supervisory capacities for 16 years, Mayor Kim Driscoll said in a series of Twitter posts.

Lucas Miller, who has been an NYPD detective lieutenant since 2017, “excelled in the assessment evaluation for this important position,” Driscoll said. She added that after meeting with Miller and hearing from a diverse group of community stakeholders and Miller’s past coworkers, she is “confident he’ll be a strong+capable leader.”

“Policing in America has changed, even in just the past year, and we justifiably expect our law enforcement officers to approach their work with a commitment to equity,” Driscoll said. “I’m confident Detective Lieutenant Miller will do just that.”



Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.