November 21, 2011 - Nashua Telegraph Reports on Chief Conley's Retirement
(From the Nashua Telegraph posted 11/17/2011 by Joseph G. Cote)
NASHUA – Police Chief Donald Conley will retire at the end of the year after nearly 32 years with the Nashua Police Department.
Conley joined the department in 1980 and previously served as a Marine and U.S. Capitol police officer. He spent five years as deputy chief before taking over the corner office from Timothy Hefferan in 2007.
Conley announced his retirement Wednesday morning at a meeting of the Nashua Police Commission. At the same meeting, the commission unanimously voted to name Deputy Chief John Seusing the next chief of police, effective the first of the year, according to Commissioner Thomas Maffee.
Maffee had high praise for Conley and said Seusing will have large shoes to fill.
“He’s going to be deeply missed by this department,” he said. “Everything he’s brought to the table has worked out perfectly.”
Maffee said he appreciated Conley’s ability to keep the department’s budget in line with expectations while juggling a number of specialized units, including the domestic violence, problem-oriented policing and burglary units.
“I think he and his staff did a fantastic job managing that,” Maffee said. “I’ll be sorry to see this man go.”
Commissioner Thomas Pappas said Conley showed vision and often suggested ways to improve the department while searching for greater efficiencies so costs remained under control.
“I think he’s done some important things in moving the department forward,” Pappas said. “I have the highest respect for Chief Conley. I think he is a man of the highest integrity.”
Conley’s legacy will be the focus on community policing he has insisted on since taking the helm in 2007. He has personally taken part in that effort by doing things like meeting quarterly with crime watch leaders, running a Citizens Police Academy and more, Pappas said.
He also has the respect of the officers under him, he said.
“From my observation, he gets along quite well with the rank and file,” Pappas said. “He knows them all by their first name, and many of them will stop and chat with him.”
In addition to a focus on community policing, Conley has regularly talked about the importance of keeping a full complement of officers and has kept the department at or close-to fully staffed.
“I think Nashua and the Nashua Police Department are better off today as a result of Chief Conley’s efforts and leadership,” Pappas said.
Seusing led the department’s patrol division when he was promoted to captain in 2004. He was named one of the department’s two deputy chiefs in 2007 after Hefferan’s retirement.
Nashua police chiefs have tended not to last long in the job. Hefferan served just short of 3½ years. Police Chief Craig Sandler moved from the state police to head the department from 1972-84. Police Chief Bill Quigley stayed on for five years, Ray Landry for seven years, Cliff Largy for five years and Don Gross for 3½ years.
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