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Fitzgerald named new police chief

BRATTLEBORO—Capt. Michael Fitzgerald is Brattleboro’s new chief of police.

The Selectboard announced Fitzgerald’s promotion during its board meeting on Sept. 2.

According to Selectboard Chair David Gartenstein, the board, a citizens committee, a town employee committee, and a committee of police officers recommended Fitzgerald to chief after an extensive two-month search.

Fitzgerald took over as interim chief after Chief Eugene Wrinn retired in June.

Gartenstein said that Fitzgerald stood out from a field of five top candidates. Fitzgerald possesses the values and desire for community policing that Gartenstein said he believed were in line with the values of the residents of Brattleboro.

Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland told the audience at the board meeting that Fitzgerald, 53, was born and raised in Brattleboro. He attended Oak Grove School and Brattleboro Union High School.

After graduation, Fitzgerald joined the U.S. Marine Corps, in which he served for 20 years and retired as a gunnery sergeant.

Fitzgerald joined the BPD on his return to Brattleboro and rose to captain in eight years.

Following the announcement, former Police Chief Richard Gutherie stood to congratulate Fitzgerald.

“I’m very happy that I hired him,” Gutherie said, adding that the town of Brattleboro “has gained a lot” by promoting Fitzgerald to chief.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #270 (Wednesday, September 3, 2014). This story appeared on page A5.

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