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Newbury appoints interim police chief after former chief’s sudden departure 


Monitor staff
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Town of Newbury has appointed an interim police chief in the wake of Robert Lee’s sudden departure last month.

Sergeant Brad Wheeler will lead the department until a new chief is appointed, Select Board Chair Ed Thorson said.

Thorson said the board will determine in coming meetings whether the town will use an outside consulting firm to lead the search process for a new chief, or hire internally.

“We want to keep this thing rolling,” Thorson said. “We aren’t going to jump the gun, but we’re going to make a decision, and hopefully a good one for the community.”

Thorson said they are looking for a community-oriented police chief. He didn’t confirm whether Wheeler, who began his career as an officer in Newbury 17 years ago, would be a candidate for the position.

“I can’t comment on that, but I will say in the short time Brad has been here he has done a splendid job,” Thorson said.

Newbury officials have refused to explain why Lee, who had been police chief of Newbury for more than 10 years, left the department.

In a prepared statement, Thorson said Lee had “taken an extended leave of absence to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.”