NORTHBOROUGH – As Northborough Police Chief Bill Lyver is set to retire at the end of the year, Lyver said during the Oct. 23 Select Board meeting that he would like Lt. Brian Griffin to be his successor.
“He’s a good man. He’s a dedicated, loyal department employee. He grew up in Northborough. His parents still live in Northborough. His wife is a school teacher in Northborough. You’re not going to find a better person,” Lyver said.
The Select Board appointed Griffin as lieutenant in 2021. Lyver said that Griffin has held “every position” in the police department except for one — chief. He’s well-respected throughout the entire organization, he said.
“I am extremely pleased to be able to tell you that he would be a great person for the department,” Lyver said.
Internal vs. external search for Northborough police chief
The Select Board is the appointing authority for the next chief.
According to interim Town Administrator Michael Gallagher, the board has different options when it comes to the process of finding the next chief. One of those options is to conduct an internal promotion, which was Gallagher’s recommendation based on his conversations with Lyver.
Gallagher noted that Northborough’s chief is a nonunion and non-civil service position.
“There’s a lot more latitude that the board has that you wouldn’t have otherwise,” he said.
Lyver said there are times “borne of necessity” when an external search is a good thing as it can bring change and “breathe new life into organizations.” Chief Kenneth Hutchins, who retired in 2003, came to Northborough from Colorado after a nationwide search. His successor, Chief Mark Leahy, was brought to Northborough from Connecticut and served until 2016.
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“I would be remiss in saying that there was a certain element within the department that felt like we’re always being told no one here is good enough,” Lyver said. “I was blessed to be chosen to be chief.”
Lyver is the fifth police chief in Northborough, and the first chief in over 60 years to be appointed from within.
“It’s something I’m very proud of, and it’s something I’d like to see continue,” Lyver said.
Members of the Select Board voiced their support for Griffin’s appointment and recognized Lyver’s work with the Northborough department.
“He’s just a really good person as well as all of the other credit he deserves,” said member Kristen Wixted. “It’s such a huge win for Northborough.”
Select Board member Laura Ziton voiced her appreciation for the time that Lyver has put into succession planning and his devotion to the community.
“I really love the idea of promoting from within,” Ziton said. “I couldn’t think of a better person for that position.”
“It goes without saying that we’re going to miss you, Chief Lyver,” said Julianne Hirsh.
There was a consensus among the Select Board to advertise the position internally and allow Griffin to formally apply for the position.
Gallagher requested that the board make the appointment of Griffin at an in-person meeting to allow him to meet the board personally and have his family be able to attend the meeting.
“It is a very big deal, and I think it’s appropriate that we make it such,” he said.
Gallagher said the appointment process can begin as early as Oct. 24. Lyver asked that “something happen” before the end of the fiscal year and before budgets were due.
As budget season is underway, Lyver said it would be nice to have Griffin be able to submit his first budget for the next fiscal year.