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Malden names Holland police chief

Posted by Marcia Dick  March 10, 2010 01:05 PM

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chief.jpgMalden runs in the family for Police Lieutenant James Holland, who was sworn in as the newest Chief of Police during a packed ceremony Wednesday morning.

His wife, Malden Police Detective Maureen Holland, sat in the front row a few seats down from his brother, retired Malden Public Schools Superintendent George Holland. His father, a former Malden Police sergeant, and grandfather, a former lieutenant, were fondly remembered by Police Commissioner Anthony Spadafora.
 
“We go back a lot of years with the Holland family,” he said.
 
Holland, 62, who began his law enforcement career 40 years ago, worked as a patrolman with the Melrose Police Department and the MDC before joining the Malden force in 1975. He was promoted to sergeant two years later and attained the rank of lieutenant in 1983. His latest promotion will fill the vacancy left by former chief Kenneth Coye, who retired in December.
 
“Jim has a great, great resume of community participation,” said Malden Mayor Richard Howard. “I have great optimism for what [he] will bring to the department.”

Captain Doug Perrigo, who has served as acting chief since Coye's retirement, said Holland's experience made him the best choice for the position.
 
“When it comes to police work, there is little he hasn't seen or done,” Perrigo said. “[His] promotion begins the final chapter of a long and successful career.”

A lifelong resident of Malden, Holland was the top scorer on an Assessment Center Examination administered last month to fill the position. He was one of two lieutenants and three captains to participate.
 
On Wednesday, Holland said financing the department's programs and services will be his biggest challenge as chief  but added that his 20 years on the Malden School Committee provided him with a “certain insight” into budgetary matters. He was elected to the committee in 1980, just after the passage of Proposition 2 ½, a difficult year for municipal finances, he said.
 
Holland also hopes to curb adolescent crime by increasing the department's outreach programs for local youth and wants to foster a more open atmosphere in the department.
 
“Communication is key with me,” he said. “I have an open door.”

Sergeant Michael Cutillo, who won a bias claim against Coye regarding his own promotion, said the department was pleased with Holland's promotion.
 
“The morale in the department has skyrocketed,” he said. “Holland is a true leader, he leads by example.”

Massachusetts Retirement Laws dictate a mandatory retirement age of 65 for local police chiefs, meaning Holland will serve at most three years as chief. He earned a gross salary of $100,217 in 2008, down from $120,216 in 2007, according to city records. Coye earned $119,758.47 in 2008, according to city records, and is currently collecting a pension of $89,176. He cited looming pension cuts in his decision to retire. 

According to Kevin Morrison, director of the city's Retirement Board, police officers and firefighters with at least 32 years of service and at least 55 years of age receive 80 percent of their salary in annual pension benefits. 

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