Capt. Todd Lawrence named interim Keene police chief

·1 min read

Aug. 30—With Keene Police Chief Steven Russo set to retire from the city's police department Thursday, Capt. Todd Lawrence has been named as the interim chief, City Manager Elizabeth Dragon said Tuesday.

The city has identified one internal candidate from the department who will be interviewed for the chief position on Sept. 14, Dragon said in a phone interview. Lawrence, who has been with the police department for almost 24 years, has not applied for the position, she said.

Russo, a 23-year veteran of the Keene Police Department, announced late last month that he would be retiring effective Sept. 1. The 61-year-old, who served in the U.S. Army before joining the department, worked his way up the ranks prior to being appointed chief in 2017.

The salary range for the next police chief will be between $107,141 and $133,517, according to Dragon. The city has advertised the position within the department first and will conduct a wider search if the internal candidate is not selected, she said.

Lawrence has held the position of Administrative Captain for the past five years, Dragon said. She declined to comment on who has applied for the police chief position or provide a timeline for when the position might be filled.

The department is authorized to have 44 full-time officers, and employed 42, as of last month when Russo announced his retirement, Dragon said, adding KPD also currently has 10 full-time and 12 part-time employees who are not sworn officers, such as dispatchers and crossing guards.

Ryan Spencer can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1412, or rspencer@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter at @rspencerKS