GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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October 2, 2013

Busy year at the helm

Mayor hails Chief Campanello's first 12 months

His first year of work included responses to three drownings, two fatal fires, a seven-hour standoff with an armed man, and the aftermaths of both a hurricane and a blizzard.

And police Chief Leonard Campanello topped off his first 12 months on the job by jamming at the season’s final Block Party a couple weeks back.

But the mayor recognized him Monday by citing a number of other positive steps at the helm of Gloucester’s Police Department.

Congratulating Campanello on his first year of service — which he completed Tuesday — Kirk categorized Campanello’s work as “outstanding.”

“Your outgoing demeanor, coupled with your high level of competence and professionalism, has allowed you to enjoy the support of the community and the respect of the men and women under your command,” Kirk wrote in a letter to the chief.

Campanello, who left the Saugus Police Department to take Gloucester’s command post, has brought a number of first-year changes to city law enforcement, focusing on community policing ideals while implementing programs like the popular Citizens Police Academy, planting a school resource officer at the Gloucester High School, and working with senior citizens through collaboration with the Gloucester Housing Authority and Senior Care.

“These programs promote positive interactions amidst police officers and between officers and the public,” Kirk wrote, “thereby creating a healthier working environment, teamwork approaches to problem solving and a renewed sense of confidence from the public.”

Though the department had taken on a greater community policing focus under three-year interim Chief Mike Lane, Campanello, the first chief hired from outside the city and its Police Department, has zeroed in on the philosophy and put it into action.

“Before I got here, police officers knew citizens’ first names and citizens knew police officers’ first names,” Campanello said Tuesday. “All it (needed) was reinforcing that idea with things like the Citizens Police Academy and the neighborhood watch, so we’re interacting in positive ways.”

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