Police Department promotes town’s first-ever female sergeant
By Robert Fucci
Sutton Police Chief Dennis Towle stands with Lisa Sullivan, who was sworn in as the town’s first-ever female sergeant during the June 6 Board of Selectmen meeting. PHOTO BY ROBERT FUCCI
In 20 years working as a police officer, Lisa Sullivan said it was the last few years working as the school resource officer for the Town of Sutton that were the best.
Sullivan, who joined the Sutton Police Department in December 2011, officially resigned from that position during the June 6 Board of Selectmen meeting when she was sworn in by Police Chief Dennis Towle as the department’s first-ever female sergeant.
“She has done a lot for the department, with regards to extra efforts,” Towle said, who also explained her influence started up the department’s Facebook page. “She was very persistent with me. And here we are four years later. That was something I wasn’t in agreement with. But her persistence and her persistence in conducting the page today is what makes it so popular and such a great asset.”
Sullivan, along with officers William Jacques, Christopher Avey and Joseph Fortunato, went through a two-day interview process which included a written test and five call-related exercises conducted by Massachusetts-based Public Safety Consultants. There was also a second interview that included five questions from a panel that consisted of Towle, Town Administrator Jim Smith and two residents.
Towle said all four officers did well on the written exam and were separated by just two points.
“There’s a big step between being a good cop and a great cop,” Towle said. “I’m happy to say the four people who went through the process are great cops, hands down. Unfortunately we (only) had one position.”
Sullivan also praised her fellow officers, saying they helped keep her sharp throughout the process.
“If it wasn’t for them, they wouldn’t have kept me on my toes,” she said. “I had to figure out what were they studying, what were they doing, what would they preparing with. Honestly, they helped me get to this point. So I have to give kudos to those guys as well.”
Prior to joining Sutton, Sullivan spent 13 years working for the Littleton Police Department, leaving that post with the rank of sergeant. She was given the title of provisional sergeant in Sutton a few weeks ago.
Towle said the sergeant position had been open for a while and that he had four good people apply for the position.
“One of the greatest assets of a great police officer is being a good person,” Towle said. “It all starts there. If you look back at the way we hire and the way we do things here in the Police Department, that’s our No. 1 foundation. We’re looking for a great person. Certainly all of the candidates who went through this process are great people.”
Towle said after the meeting the school resource officer position was still vacant.
The Board voted unanimously to remove Sullivan’s provisional status as Towle officially swore her in as sergeant.
“Tough, fair, kind, compassionate and community oriented … if I were to describe you I think that’s the best way to do it,” Chairman Jesse Limanek said.