Jul. 5—HAVERHILL — Capt. Robert Pistone has been named Haverhill's new police chief, Mayor James Fiorentini announced Monday morning. He is expected to take over July 17.
Pistone, 51, was named chief after an interview process that also included final candidates Haverhill Deputy Chief Stephen Doherty and Lawrence Capt. Maurice Aguiler.
"This was an extraordinarily difficult decision because we had two outstanding local candidates in Captain Pistone and Deputy Chief Doherty," Fiorentini said. "All of us on the interview panel were very impressed with both and I believe Chief Pistone and Deputy Chief Doherty will make an incredible team to bring our police department to even higher levels."
According to the mayor, the interview panel was especially impressed with Pistone's commitment to working with the city's Latino and other minority communities.
Pistone succeeds retired Chief Alan DeNaro, who marked the end of a 44-year law enforcement career on June 30. He served as Haverhill's chief since 2002.
A 22-year veteran of the Haverhill Police Department, Pistone said his "deep roots" as a city native drove his "fervent desire" to continue to give back to the community he calls home.
"It would be my privilege to be able to give back to my city by ensuring the Haverhill Police Department does its part in guaranteeing the people of Haverhill live in a safe community, in a climate of respect in which the dignity and rights of all citizens are valued," Pistone told The Eagle-Tribune before being named chief.
Throughout his career at the Haverhill Police Department, Pistone has served in roles including patrol commander, detective commander and administrative commander. Since 2015, Pistone has served as a captain, where he oversaw several units and 64 patrolmen.
The Haverhill Police Patrolmen's Association issued a statement Monday hopeful of the "positive movement" that will come from Pistone's promotion.
"Our two internal candidates are both very qualified candidates, we supported either internal candidate for the position and want to congratulate Robert Pistone for his selection as the new chief, and Steve Doherty on his recent selection as the deputy chief," Union President Detective Rick Welch said in a statement. "The HPPA anticipates these selections will continue the positive movement of the Haverhill Police Department, and that they both will work hard to improve our work environment and community relations."
In his resume submitted to the city for the chief's job, Pistone said community collaboration was one of his key selling points, as was strategic and financial leadership. According to his resume, Pistone implemented the department's new behavioral response unit that will soon team mental health clinicians with officers on the street.
He also implemented an officer wellness program that fulfills "the pressing need for adequate officer-specific wellness support" but greatly reduces the cost to the department for excessive use of sick days, he said.
He holds a Bachelor's degree in political science from St. Anselm College and a Master's degree in criminal justice administration from Western New England College. Pistone has graduated from the 272nd session of the FBI National Academy.
He was selected following a nationwide search for applicants and a two-part interview that included a session with community activists and a final session with Fiorentini, Municipal Resources Inc. President Alan Gould, a consultant hired to help recruit candidates, and former Hampton, New Hampshire police Chief William Wrenn, a Haverhill native who also assisted with the overall process.
Pistone takes over for interim Chief Anthony Haugh, who stepped in to oversee the department for a period of seven weeks after DeNaro retired several weeks early due to health reasons.