Derry chief to retire; deputy to take police lead

·2 min read

Sep. 9—DERRY — These will be big shoes to fill.

That's the sentiment of many who are honoring Derry's Chief of Police Edward Garone, who announced he will officially retire from the job Sept. 30.

Current Deputy Chief George Feole was appointed by Town Council to become Derry's new chief, effective Oct. 1.

On June 1, Garone was celebrated for his half a century of service as police chief, with a gala celebration held in his honor.

The tributes were ongoing and constant that night.

Hundreds filled the room, standing to applaud as Garone made his way through the thick crowd to his table.

A Vermont native, Garone began his career as a police officer in Lebanon, New Hampshire, in 1964, working his way through the ranks to eventually become a captain.

His policing career led him to Derry, taking the top job as chief as a 29-year-old, ready to become a part of his new community with wife Blanche and two young children, and possibly becoming the youngest police chief in the state.

He started the job on June 1 of that year with the local newspaper calling the new chief "an experienced officer with a lot of skill."

"Chief Edward B. Garone has a long-established dedication to the Derry community, which is exemplified by his unparalleled community and civic minded devotion to many organizations," according to a biography read by Feole at the celebration.

Feole continued with Garone's long list of accomplishments, saying his life was dedicated to others was a big understatement.

"Over his 50-year tenure as chief of police, he has transformed the Derry Police Department into the professional agency it is today," Feole continued with the biography. "It has grown from 20 full-time police officers and seven specials to the present 59 full-time officers, 15 civilians and four part-time personnel."

Feole said what Garone has accomplished hasn't been done before.

"A milestone we have never seen accomplished before and likely will never see accomplished again," he said earlier this summer.

Town Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores heralded Garone's longevity and success in Derry, but added she has total faith in Feole.

"He will do a great job for the town," she said.

For Feole, these are big shoes to fill. He has also served Derry for decades, joining the Derry force on June 22, 1980.

"The gravity and importance of the action you've taken is not lost on me," Feole told councilors after being appointed. "This is the first time a governing body in Derry has had to select a police chief in the last 50 years and four months. That's an incredible run."

Feole added he looks forward to the challenges ahead, thanking officials for their vote of support.