Owens sworn in as MPD chief

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MANCHESTER — Patrick Owens officially became the chief of the Manchester Police Department on Monday when he was sworn in and formally introduced.

Town Manager John O'Keefe introduced Owens to a large crowd of family, friends and co-workers by praising Owens.

"We often refer to police officers as our finest," O'Keefe said. "Having served as Manchester's Town Manager since 2007, I can say for certain that we have the finest right here in Manchester."

O'Keefe said it's absolutely imperative that the police department has a strong leader.

"We have been blessed in Manchester to have had the leadership of Dana Thompson, Fred Wessner, Jim Baker and Mike Hall," O'Keefe said. "Patrick Owens' qualifications for the position are exceptional. He has strong roots in the Manchester community. A graduate of Burr and Burton, he later attended Keene State College. He is a 27 year veteran of the Manchester Police Department and held every possible rank: patrol officer, investigator, corporal, sergeant, lieutenant and captain."

But, beyond his experience are his qualities as a leader, O'Keefe pointed to.

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"First and foremost, he is fair. He is brave. He is intelligent. He is calm. He is a leader," O'Keefe said. "These traits, along with his experience make him the obvious choice as the next Chief of Police for the Manchester Police Department."

Select Board Vice Chairman Wayne Bell said Owens had proved himself over the years.

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"P.J., for 27 years you have shown yourself to be the kind of law enforcement officer who is available to aid and to validate — not to malign, not to judge, but to listen," Bell said. "Serving your town with a caring heart that has been a hallmark of past chiefs and the best of those who are assigned with the guardianship of public safety."

Bell thanked Owens as a representative of the Manchester Select Board.

"On behalf of the Manchester Select Board, we thank you and God bless you for the courage you displayed in the taking the solemn oath as sworn officer of the law 27 years ago and today as chief of Manchester's finest, and for the extraordinary services you have and will provide and sacrifices you have and will make on behalf of Manchester," Bell said. "Congratulations with our respect, gratitude and appreciation."

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Owens thanked O'Keefe for "having the confidence in me," and thanked his family and fellow officers who lined one wall of the room.

"Thank you to my family for all the sacrifices you made," Owens said to his wife, son and daughter. "I missed school functions and holidays."

He also thanked former chief Mike Hall.

"Thanks to Mike, he was my corporal when I started," Owens said. "I wanted to be like you."

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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