Ryan Newell named Southborough Police Chief

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Ryan Newell named Southborough Police Chief
Ryan Newell stands in front of the Southborough Police Department. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

SOUTHBOROUGH – The Southborough Police Department has a new chief.

After serving as acting chief for several month, Ryan Newell was appointed chief by the Select Board on Aug. 30.

The Select Board interviewed both Newell and Sgt. Sean McCarthy on Aug. 29.

“I’m ready for this position. I’m ready for this role. I’ve already been doing this job since February. I’ve been establishing great relationships with other department heads,” Newell said during his interview.

Newell becomes acting chief

Newell, who graduated from Stonehill College, has been a member of the Southborough Police Department for over 20 years.

“It’s a great department, a great town. I feel like I am part of this town even though I don’t live in town,” he said.

Newell served as sergeant for 15 years before he was promoted to a lieutenant. He was named acting chief following the departure of former chief Kenneth Paulhus after he had been placed on leave.

The Select Board and Paulhus issued a statement describing a “mutual agreement that [Paulhus’] employment with the Town would not continue beyond May 31.”

Town leaders haven’t shared information on why he was put on leave or why he was departing.

During their interviews, the Select Board asked both Newell and McCarthy 15 questions, including their plans for their first 90 days on the job.

“When I came into the position, I didn’t want to be a placeholder,” Newell said. “I wanted to actively show the town what I wanted to do with this position.”

He said he began immediately establishing relationships with the town committees and community members, including serving lunch in the schools.

“Right off the bat, I wanted to let everybody know who I was and that this department was in good shape and that we have great officers that work with us,” Newell said.

He said he’s actively working with the schools and Senior Center and will be working on a policy for body-worn cameras.

Newell said he would hold a department meeting and hold individual meetings with the officers to discuss expectations and plans for the department.

Newell said his entire career has been preparing him for this job, though he noted there will be a learning curve for some of the other committees he hadn’t had access to in his previous role, such as the Capital Planning Committee.

“I have people I can rely on and I can go to if I need help with that,” Newell said.

Select Board deliberates 

During their deliberation, the Select Board noted that they had two strong candidates, though they unanimously supported Newell.

“I think they are absolutely both good men, and we saw that,” said Chair Kathy Cook. “I’m very proud to say that they save on the Southborough police force.”

The members praised his answers to their questions and leadership experience.

“I think, for me, the leadership of being a lieutenant has prepared Acting Chief Newell for this position,” said member Lisa Braccio.

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