Retired police chief in Randolph to help Holbrook

Paul Porter, a former police chief in Randolph, will lead the Holbrook Police Department on a temporary basis starting Monday, when Holbrook Police Chief William Marble steps down to return to the position of sergeant.

Marble and town officials could not agree on a new contract. He said his pay under the previous contract was $119,000, and he was seeking an increase. He earned $125,000 last year with overtime and details, but he said his contract was low compared with other area chiefs.

The Board of Selectmen on Thursday appointed Porter police commissioner for 30 days on an emergency basis. Town Administrator William Phelan said he expects that before the 30 days expire, selectmen will name Porter to lead the department until the town can find a permanent chief.


The selectmen did not appoint Porter for more than 30 days because Phelan said he thinks state law requires them to get permission from the state Human Resources Division before making a more permanent appointment. They gave him the title of commissioner, a civilian job, rather than chief, because the law requires police to retire at age 65, and Porter recently reached that age, Phelan said.

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Porter told the board he has no interest in the permanent position, but is glad to help. “It’s a privilege,” he said.

Selectmen said they were pleased to have someone with a long résumé. Porter joined the Randolph Police Department in 1975 and retired in 2010, serving the last 6½ years as chief, he said. He told the board he helped develop national protocols for police handling of domestic violence, and worked with the state on related police training.

Jennette Barnes can be reached at