History of the TPD
In 1898 the first Chief of Police in Townsend was Mike O’Brien who lived on Smith Street.
At a town meeting March 1, 1926 the town voted to adopt Section 97 of MGL Chapter 41 which provided that a police department be established under the direction of the Board of Selectmen.
The Board of Selectmen were also charged with appointing a Chief of Police and the other officers that they deemed necessary and to fix the salary of the Chief at $25.00 annually and in addition any other compensation that he may receive in the performance of his duties as Police Chief.
Harry Feltch from Depot St. was appointed Chief of Police and also served as Fire Chief, he was replaced by Howard Morse in 1932 that served as the first full time chief in Townsend.
The next Chief was Arthur Bliss (a retired Chief from Needham) followed by Bud Carlton in 1946 and,Wilfred Hamel in 1947. Chief Hamel whom purchased the first police cruiser, which also doubled as an ambulance, in 1947. Donald Morse followed in 1948 and Howard Doran in 1956, who retired at theage of 65 in 1959. Donald Morse again was chief in 1960. Erving Marshall, Sr. became the chief in 1973, followed by William E. May in 1980, who served as chief until 2002. Erving M. Marshall, Jr. became chief in 2002 and served until September 2015.
Chief Richard B. Bailey was sworn in as permanent Chief of Police on October 3, 2017. Chief Bailey retired from the Townsend Police Department after 43 years of service. Chief Bailey took enormous pride in a number of accomplishments achieved during his tenure including an increased relationship with residents, business owners, schools, and community groups. He worked hard to return an officer to North Middlesex Regional High School and continues to serve the town in a number of volunteer capacities.
James P. Sartell was appointed interim Chief of Police on January 1, 2020.