Chief Randall says farewell to department and town

Chief Randall says farewell to department and town

Sgt. Donald Delaere expected to succeed him

SCITUATE – When he was a kid, Col. David M. Randall didn’t anticipate serving at the helm of his childhood town’s police department as chief. He had no way of knowing he would steadily move up the ranks – going from a patrolman to a sergeant in less than 10 years and reaching the titles of lieutenant and captain not long after.

Randall was born a third-generation carpenter in Scituate and made his living in that field until the U.S. Army called. He was stationed in Germany in 1985, an experience he says was transformative.

“I enjoyed my experience in the military,” Randall told The Breeze & Observer in an interview this week.

The structure and form of the military served as a good fit for him, and he joined the Scituate police department in March of 1990. After that, he was quickly recognized as a leader and began a long career in police work.

In 2001, Randall was chosen to attend the FBI national academy in Virginia, an exclusive training experience for law enforcement leaders. In 2005, he received a master’s degree in criminal justice, became lieutenant in 2006, captain in 2007, and chief in 2008.

But Randall emphasized he was never vying for the top position at first. He just wanted to do his job.

“It comes down to staying focused on being the best police officer you can be,” Randall said.

This week he’s standing aside and likely to see a department sergeant, Donald Delaere, moved into the department’s most senior position on the recommendation of Town Council President John Mahoney. That move is on the Town Council’s agenda for tonight, Feb. 16. Officer Todd Rich is expected to be promoted to fill the sergeant’s position.

Randall’s choice of a successor was Capt. Eric Rollinson, who was promoted to the vacant deputy chief’s position.

“He has performed beyond my expectations,” Randall said of Rollinson. “By promoting him to deputy chief, it speaks for itself.”

Looking back on his career, Randall recounted the growth of various programs with the department during his tenure, including:

•The annual department training program

• The implementation of the San Jose field training model

• The success of a citizens police academy

• The now-retired award-winning police explorer program

Leaving all of that will be difficult, Randall said.

“It’s a lifestyle, it’s a calling,” he said. “It’s been wonderful.”

The chief said he made the decision to retire after reflecting on the words of his predecessor Chief William J. Mack, who had said, “you’ll know when it’s time.”

Randall said that since it is the chief’s job to set the moral compass and leadership expectations for the department, he was going to step down.

“I’ve always been one to take the high road,” Randall said.

He would not elaborate.

Randall, whose last day was Feb. 15, did say he will continue teaching as an adjunct instructor at the University of Rhode Island. And his next career move from there?

“I’ll know it when I see it,” Randall said.

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