EASTON — Following 27 years of service with the Easton Police Department, Chief Gary Sullivan retired today.
A farewell lunch was held Friday honoring his career with the town and impact as chief.
Chief Sullivan has served in Easton his entire career, starting as a patrol officer in 1995. He was promoted to sergeant in 2005 and lieutenant in 2009 before being appointed chief in 2015.
As lieutenant, Chief Sullivan managed the department’s first accreditation through the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, which was earned in 2011. At that time, Easton was only the 35th agency in the state to achieve that status. This accreditation pre-dates the recently enacted statewide Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission system of accreditation and is a self-initiated, lengthy and comprehensive evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain the top standards of law enforcement. The department has been re-accredited every three years since 2011.
Under his leadership as chief, Easton Police officers were trained on the use of and began carrying naloxone (NARCAN), and the department implemented the use of electronic control weapons, commonly known as “Tasers.” Earlier this year, Chief Sullivan also successfully sought and received grant funding to purchase body-worn cameras.
Throughout his time as chief, he has furthered the department’s community policing initiatives and partnerships by working with the Easton Wings of Hope to support families affected by substance use and assigning a Civil Rights Officer to the Human Rights Committee. He also hired seven student officers this year to replace upcoming retirements and grow the department’s staff levels to support the creation of a Community Outreach Unit, which will work with a civilian social worker to provide non-acute, ongoing case management and follow-up services.
Also during his tenure, the department transitioned 911 dispatch services to the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Emergency Communications Center (SEMRECC) and promoted Easton’s first female sergeant.
He additionally has served as a member of the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (MetroLEC).
“Few areas of municipal governance have changed and evolved as rapidly as policing in recent history,” Town Administrator Connor Read said. “Expectations for service, accountability, and responsiveness from the public and governmental leaders towards law enforcement have grown over time in response to innumerable societal challenges ranging from the opioid epidemic to gun violence; from police use of force to officer accountability and agency transparency. Through all of this, Chief Sullivan and the Easton Police have remained on the forefront of professional standards in policing and best practices to meet the ever changing needs of the public.”
He added, “I am thankful for the Chief’s service to the profession, the Department, and the community, as I know so many in Easton are, and I am personally grateful to him for his support, leadership, and loyalty during many years of incredible challenge and opportunity.”
Deputy Chief Keith Boone has been appointed the next police chief, effective July 9. A swearing-in ceremony and badge pinning will be held Monday, July 11 at 6 p.m. in the Oliver Ames High School Auditorium, 100 Lothrop St., as part of the Easton Select Board meeting.
Boone began his career with the Easton Police Department as a special police officer in 2002. He has risen through the ranks since, and has served as deputy chief since 2015.