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New Watertown city police chief likely to be chosen this week

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WATERTOWN — With interviews completed, City Manager Sharon A. Addison could name a new city police chief as soon as the end of the week.

Before selecting the new chief, Ms. Addison said she needs to review some paperwork on the three candidates — Capt. Cheryl A. Clark, Lt. Charles P. “Chip” Donoghue and Lt. Michael J. Mullins. The city manager interviewed the three this past week.

If it does not happen this week, she expects to make a decision next week.

“This is big news,” Ms. Addison said about the announcement.

She has the final say on whom the next police chief will be; the Watertown City Council sets the salary.

Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham said she may give council members an update during an executive session on Monday night. He declined to speculate who will be appointed.

The three candidates could not be reached for comment Saturday night.

On March 8, three candidates took the Civil Service exam.

Lt. Donoghue received the highest score with an 87. Lt. Mullins, who also took it last year and scored an 80 then, received an 81. Capt. Clark, who also took the exam for a second time, scored an 85 last year, and a 77 this time.

All three candidates have been with the department long enough that they received five points for seniority.

The successor will replace Gary R. Comins, who received a provisional appointment as chief in July. He did not take the exam in March and will retire at the end of June.

After the exam results came back on May 16, Amie L. Davis, the Civil Service Commission’s executive secretary, made a presentation to the local Civil Service Commission before giving the certified list to the city manager later in the week.

Last May, the police chief position remained unfilled because it was “a nonbinding exam” since fewer than three people took it, Civil Service officials said. At the time, Ms. Addison could have made either a permanent or a provisional appointment.

The salary range for the position will be $86,650 to $89,500, with either two years as a police captain, four years as a lieutenant or a combined eight years as a lieutenant and sergeant required for the appointment.

Capt. Clark was promoted from lieutenant last July. Former Chief Joseph J. Goss retired last June after a 30-year career.

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