SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 2, 2013

Police chief to retire in Sept.

(Continued)

Negrotti has served as the executive officer in the department, and Ray said, “he is going to do a tremendous job.” The department has 66 sworn officers and six civilian employees.

When Ray was elevated from lieutenant to chief in 2007, succeeding former Chief John Cassola, he pledged to maintain openness and build trust within the community.

“I think we have a fair police department,” said Ray, who added that the department has seen a drop in crime, partly due to a nationwide trend.

“Part of it is the work we did in the community,” Ray said.

To cultivate relationships within the city, Ray created a Community Advisory Council, in which community members meet with police regularly, helping to tackle quality-of-life issues, such as graffiti and noise abatement.

“The most important thing I think we found was we got to listen to the community,” Ray said. The department also developed relationships with the community through a liaison program so that various groups, such as senior citizens, the schools, Beverly Hospital and Beverly Airport, would deal with the same officer on various problems unique to them.

Ray said he was also proud of the department’s domestic-violence and victim-services program. The efforts of officers to help victims and prevent further incidents were recognized by the International Association of the Chiefs of Police, Ray said.

Ray said one of his biggest challenges as a police officer was serving as the lieutenant on the midnight shift.

“Many members of our community don’t see what happens after hours,” he said. Officers often showed courage in dealing with after-hours incidents.

“When someone is in trouble at 1 or 2 in the morning, everyone is happy to see the blue uniform,” Ray said.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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