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Mayor announces new police chief for Chicopee

The new Chicopee, Massachusetts, Police Chief Patrick Major (left) gets sworn in as Mayor John Vieau (center) looks on.
Alden Bourne
The new Chicopee, Massachusetts, Police Chief Patrick Major (left) gets sworn in as Mayor John Vieau (center) looks on.

Chicopee, Massachusetts, Mayor John Vieau announced on Friday that Captain Patrick Major is the new police chief.

The appointment concluded a process that took a strange turn last week, when the school superintendent was accused of sending threatening messages to an applicant.

In a brief acceptance speech, Major addressed residents of the city — the second largest in western Massachusetts.

"My loyalty is to you," Major said. "I truly look forward to providing professional, respectful and dedicated police department to serve your needs for public safety as well as proving to you that we, as police officers, are a part of this community."

Major beat out the other finalist, Jeffrey Gawron, who was serving as interim chief.

Another candidate dropped out after receiving threatening text messages, and the city delayed the selection process.

In early April, the Chicopee school superintendent, Lynn Clark, was arrested and charged with lying to federal agents about sending the messages. Her attorney denied the allegations.

In an interview after Friday's event, Vieau said when it comes to the city's schools, he's focused on the future.

"Our goal is to make sure we're providing safe learning environments for students," he said. "One person doesn't define our district. We are going to make sure that we continue to close that education gap in the city of Chicopee, and we will be okay."

An assistant superintendent, Alvin Morton, is temporarily leading the school district.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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