Lieutenant Michael Peraino was named Hingham's new police chief by a unanimous vote by selectmen at their meeting Tuesday night.
Peraino, a 33-year veteran with the Hingham Police Department, was one of four in-house applicants to apply for the position this month upon the retirement of current chief Taylor Mills.
Lieutenant Glenn Olsson, Lieutenant John Norkaitis, and Sergeant Richard Corcoran also had ample experience and talents for the job, said Selectman Bruce Rabuffo, but Peraino’s experience and reputation made him stand out as an applicant.
“Clearly four qualified applicants [came forward]. The issue wasn’t who was qualified, the issue was who was best qualified, and the answer was Mike Peraino,” Rabuffo said.
All applicants went through an interview process with the town as well as an essay exam, where each had to answer how he would handle an internal investigation involving a citizen where there are "personalities" at play.
Although all four answered questions and went through the process beautifully, Rabuffo said, Peraino’s talents in mediation and conflict resolution are what would truly complement the department.
“Michael is experienced as a D.A.R.E. officer, being a healer, to bring people together, that’s his reputation and experience has shown that he can do that,” Rabuffo said. “I thought Michael would bring to the table much more the skill set I feel the department needed.”
Peraino has had a variety of roles for the Hingham police, including as a patrolman from 1978-2004, a sergeant from 2004-2006, and a lieutenant from 2006 until the present.
Peraino received his master's degree in criminal justice in 2002 from Curry College and currently serves as a member of the Hingham Health Committee and Crisis Team.
As a patrolman from 1978-2004, Peraino would establish the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program to teach Hingham youths about drug abuse.
“Our department is entering a period where the large number of younger officers lends itself to a leader with patience, institutional experience, and commitment to uphold the reputation we have worked so hard to achieve,” Peraino wrote in his application. “I offer Hingham a record of reliability and loyalty to the department, and would work hard to be the leader it deserves going forward. I welcome the opportunity.”
Hingham officials also recognized Officer John Marquardt, who will be deployed to Afghanistan in the coming weeks. Marquardt recently joined the Hingham police after his department in a nearby town downsized.
Rabuffo said he had contributed to the pride of the town and wished him luck abroad.