DANVERS — Danvers native Kelley Tobyne became the Police Department's fifth female officer yesterday after Town Clerk Joseph Collins swore her in before a Town Hall audience of friends, family and fellow officers.
"I'm pumped," said Tobyne, 24, of Danvers, after the brief ceremony. "I can't wait. I'm going to enjoy my Thanksgiving weekend and then I'm good to go."
Tobyne fills a position left vacant by the retirement of Lenny Flynn, police Chief Neil Ouellette said. She needs eight weeks' field training before she can patrol on her own.
She is not the only fresh face on the force: Derek Colella of Danvers has also been hired but was not sworn in yesterday because he was away on a family vacation.
Both Colella and Tobyne will start with a salary of $44,200.
Tobyne joins Lt. Carole Germano, a 29-year veteran, and Patrolmen Olivia Silva, Susan Tibbetts and Ashley Berube as the other female officers on the Danvers force, Sgt. Robert Bettencourt said. Women make up nearly 11 percent of the department's 47 sworn officers.
Bettencourt said the department had fallen behind other nationally accredited ones that had at least 15 percent of their forces female. Two or three years ago, the department requested a gender list from the Civil Service Commission, allowing the department to hire women ahead of men.
"We have actively been trying to get more females on the Police Department," Bettencourt said.
Before being hired, Tobyne worked in administration at the Essex County Sheriff's Department, and Sheriff Frank Cousins was on hand yesterday to congratulate her.
Tobyne had also served as a matron for Danvers police, a job that entails watching over female prisoners. Tobyne went to the police academy program in Boylston last year on her own time, and she had to endure a 50-plus-mile, hourlong commute each way.
"I went 15 weeks without a paycheck," said Tobyne, who said the hardship was worth it. "The academy was the best experience of my life."
After the academy was over, Tobyne had to bide her time.
"I knew the position was coming," Tobyne said. "I made myself busy, and I enrolled in grad school."
Tobyne attended St. Mary School of Danvers, graduated from Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody in 2003 and Endicott College in Beverly last year with a degree in criminal justice. She is working toward a master's at Salem State College.
Colella, meanwhile, is married to Ryanne Colella and they have two sons, Dominic, 9, and Mason, 4, said Danvers Capt. Ed Plamowski. Colella, who turns 31 in December, graduated from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's police academy in Quincy, and "he had great reviews," Plamowsky said.
Colella holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Salem State College in sport fitness and a minor in biology. He is taking criminal justice courses at North Shore Community College and most recently he worked for Electric Insurance Company. He worked as a part-time patrolman for Manchester.
Colella will be sworn in Monday at 9 a.m.; both new officers start Dec. 1, Plamowski said.