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Concord police chief to step down, take hospital job

Concord acting police chief John Duval speaks at a press conference on Tuesday, September 20, 2011.  Duval was named Chief on Wednesday, December 14, 2011.

(Andrea Morales/ Monitor Staff)

Concord acting police chief John Duval speaks at a press conference on Tuesday, September 20, 2011. Duval was named Chief on Wednesday, December 14, 2011. (Andrea Morales/ Monitor Staff)

John Duval, Concord’s chief of police and a 27-year veteran of the department, announced yesterday he will retire at the end of the year. In a letter to City Manager Tom Aspell, Duval, 51, said he planned to become head of security at Concord Hospital.

Duval’s last day will be Dec. 23. A replacement has yet to be selected.

In an interview, Duval said he is excited for the new position and is proud to have overseen such a dedicated police staff for the past two and a half years.

“The work of this staff, day in and day out, is what makes this city as safe as it is,” he said. “It’s a great place to live.”

Duval said he hadn’t been actively looking for a job, though he had given thought to transitioning to a job outside the force.

“I was at a point in my career where in many ways it seemed a natural progression,” he said.

Duval started with the Concord Police Department in 1986. It was his first job out of the military, after having served six years in the U.S. Air Force. He spent 10 years as officer in the Patrol Division and Community Resources Unit before being reassigned to the Youth Services Division, where he investigated youth-related crimes. He was promoted to sergeant in the Patrol Division in 1998 and again to lieutenant two years later. He became deputy chief in 2005.

Duval took over as interim chief in 2011 after the retirement of Bob Barry, and six months later, he was named Barry’s permanent successor.

Among his accomplishments as chief, Duval said he is most proud of his work on issues such as mental health, domestic abuse and homelessness. Mayor Jim Bouley echoed the sentiment and said he was particularly impressed with Duval’s “community-oriented” approach.

“He’s set a very high standard,” Bouley said. “He’ll be truly missed.”

As chief, Duval oversaw a highly publicized two-year investigation into racist graffiti in the city’s South End, which closed in October with the arrest of a 43-year-old tattoo artist from Pembroke.

Duval’s tenure was not without controversy, though. In August, he drew scrutiny from several groups for moving to acquire an armored police vehicle, known as a BearCat. Duval said the vehicle would be used to offer protection in emergencies, including hostage situations and high-risk arrests. Critics warned the move would militarize the police department and called it a wasteful expense. But the city council sided with Duval, voting in September to approve the purchase.

Duval yesterday thanked the council and the city administration for their backing throughout his tenure.

“Without their support we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” he said. “And for that, I am forever grateful.”

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

"Will Duvall get to commute to his new gig in the bearcat??? "...Who is Duvall?

Reply to all below...its been half a year approx since the statement of daily challenges. Would it be too much to ask the out going chief for a documented list of these challenges, so we have some factual data? I dont believe for one second that Mr Currie would be so kind to the chief had he stated in the grant that "the far left of the democrat party" presented daily challenges. Which would probably be more accurate...

At least he is not retiring on disability, like another former Concord Dept . head did, to take this same position.

In my world, getting caught making false statements on a federal document about a group of citizens in the State of NH by a chief of police is not a "blemish"....and maybe it was the first time..maybe not...no matter..its unacceptable behavior, and the fact you only see it as a blemish is extremely troubling.

Will Duvall get to commute to his new gig in the bearcat???

27 years of dedicated service, to a job that is thankless, dangerous, and stressful and you have to point out the one blemish? You, my friend, are a small- minded critic. Thank you, Chief Duval, for your service and dedication. ignore the haters, they are few and far between.

"Small-minded" is one of several aptly descriptive phrases one might use for the poster you refer to. For Hunter Dan below, FSP stands for "Free State Project", though others who've had dealings with them might apply different words. Despite many claims to the contrary, most of the FSPers will align with the Republican Party when putsch comes to shove. Their fetishizing about 'natural law' , property rights, guns, and their affinity for conspiracy theories makes for a natural fit with Birchers, Truthers, Agenda 21ers, anti-vacciners, and other paranoid quacks. The Browns worked all these angles and then some nearly to a tragic outcome; but while they were current, they attracted libertarian followers like flies. Libertarianism is also a natural fit with such jolly rogues as the Oath-keepers. (They were the brave hearts who tried to shut down the gun-control rally at the StateHouse with --what else? their guns.) Or Libertarians can go to pondering what might have been and might be again if only that libertarian/free market paradise known as the Confederacy had survived. Some libertarians like to dress up, so Civil War reenactments might be a gateway drug for this. Libertarians tend to be well educated enough to avoid the heavy metal dregs that make up much of the white militia movement, but there are likely to be exceptions. While Duval's wording was impolitic, unlike many, I don't think the Chief was much off the mark when he mentioned the FSP in the application, for the reasons I've mentioned. His tossing in of the Occupy movement was an attempt at bipartisanship, I think. We'll see what the next decade of the FSP brings.

another filibuster by Bruce - a liberal that can never say in a few sentences what many paragraphs can radically embelish

"Duval’s tenure was not without controversy, though. In August, he drew scrutiny from several groups for moving to acquire an armored police vehicle, known as a BearCat. Duval said the vehicle would be used to offer protection in emergencies, including hostage situations and high-risk arrests.".....No....the main controversy was his statement in the grant that the FSP presented daily challenges to the dept...which by all accounts, is patently false...and the penalty for making false statements on a federal grant? Apparently you get a do over. And then retire. And join the NH 500. Is this a great country or what?

What's the FSP???

Free State Project

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