History of the Maynard Police Department


One of the first important needs of the town was police protection and the citizens at the first town meeting in 1871 elected three constables, Fred Fletcher, William Maxwell and Thomas Farrell. The selectmen were to act as police commissioners and appointed eight special policemen- E.L. Stevens, E.F. Tilton, William Taylor, John Hickland, John P. Foster, William F. Wood, William Maynard, and Joseph Valley. The constables were to receive $10.00 extra for serving as truant officers.

In May 1871, the selectmen were authorized to build a lock-up and a committee  of three was appointed  (John  K. Harriman, Amory Maynard and John Fuller) to supervise the building of same. It was built of brick, about fourteen feet by fourteen feet, containing two cells, at a cost of $455.70. It was located just off Main Street at the rear of what is now #2 Railroad St. The selectmen as police commissioners meticulously reported the on the cost of the new lock-up in the annual town report.


By 1876, the cost of police was $150.00 a year, and by 1890 had risen to $604.15, with three constables and nine special police.


In 1882, two policemen were chosen for night duty and two for duty from twelve noon to midnight at $2.25 per day.


In April 1894 it was voted to build a new lock-up on the westerly corner of the fire engine house on Nason Street, to be of brick or stone. It was built of brick at a cost of $694.00 (this building is standing today). From 1894 to 1900 the department appropriation was $599.00 a year. However, with the great increase in population caused by the American Woolen Co. expansion of the mill complex, 1903 saw an appropriation of $1700.00 .


On October 3, 1902, it was voted that the chairman of the board of selectmen was to act as chief of police, and John Connors of Marlborough and Samuel G. King were appointed as Full-time patrolmen.


In 1909, a new safety measure for the populace in reach of a telephone was installed at the corner of Main and Nason Streets. It was known as a “call-light”, and anyone desiring an officer at night could call the telephone operator, who then turned on the light. The officer then learned through the operator the location for the party calling for him. A rather circuitous method of reaching the police compared with today, but adequate for those days and nights of nearly a century ago.


Officer Connors was named deputy chief, and in 1917 patrol boxes for the night patrolmen were installed at a cost of $500.00.


Automobile hire by the department in 1920 came to $121.00- no cruisers yet.


On February 13, 1924 the police department was made a separate department under the direction of the board of selectmen and Deputy Connors was named Chief of Police.


The February 9, 1925 town meeting voted to accept the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 31, Civil Service Act, where by the chief of police and the regular of permanent police force shall be subject to said chapter and rules made there under. On February 11, 1925, John Connors was named chief, Nicholas J. Driscoll, sergeant, Arthur Webber and Harold Hanson, patrolmen, under the Civil Service Rules, with the selectmen retaining direction of the police department.


In 1930, life-preservers, ropes, and a boat were placed on the Mill Pond. Crosswalks and yellow lines were painted in various places for the first time for traffic safety, indicating increased automobile traffic. Also in 1930, the police headquarters was moved from the selectmen’s office in Creighton’s block to Gruber’s block


In 1934 the Maynard Police Headquarters moved to four rooms fronting Main street in the west side of the recently acquired “town building”. The lock-up also was moved to this location.


In 1936, John Connors, chief of police for thirteen years and with thirty-four years on the force, died on October 9th.


On April 1st, 1937 Henry F. Piecewicz was appointed chief.


The department received its first cruiser in 1938


In 1939 a pension system was instituted, with Sergeant Nicholas Driscoll the following year the first to retire under it.


The year 1946 saw the installation of the first two-way radio for the cruiser


In 1950 the one and only traffic light in town was installed at Paper Mill Corner after a traffic survey.


Parking meters were installed in 1951


The five-day week for the department was passed at the 1953 town meeting.


Chief Piecewicz retired in 1954, and on November 30, 1955 Michael T. Zapareski was appointed to chief.


On October 4th, 1955, the department moved into the new combination police and fire station.


Chief Zapareski retired March 1st, 1968, and on October 1st, 1968 Sergeant Albert J. Crowley was appointed chief.


On January 23rd, 1980 Sergeant Arner S. Tibbetts was appointed interim chief


On May 13th, 1986 Arner S. Tibbetts was appointed Police Chief.


Chief Tibbetts retired in 1994  and Sergeant Edward M. Lawton was first appointed Interim Chief by the Board of Selectmen, and then later chief of Police. During this time the department transitioned from Smith & Wesson 357 revolvers to the Glock semi-auto pistol.


Chief Edward M. Lawton retired from the Maynard Police Department On August 9th, 1999. Sergeant James F. Corcoran was appointed chief in his place.


Through donations from the Maynard Booster Club and private citizens, as well as money from a community policing grant, 4 new Tasers were purchased and put on the street.  After several years of planning and failed attempts, a new station was approved at town meeting by the citizens of Maynard.


The building committee, Chief Corcoran, and the Board of Selectman attended the ground breaking ceremony on April 22nd 2008.   The new station, scheduled to be ready at the beginning of 2009 will be located in the old library next to the  Town Hall.


On April 23rd 2009 an official ribbon cutting ceremony was held at #197 Main Street. The Edward Lawton conference room was dedicated.


Chief James F. Corcoran retires.  Lt. James Dawson becomes Acting Chief while the search for a new chief begins.

On October 1st 2012, Mark Dubois takes over as the Chief of the Maynard Police Department.

Comments are closed.