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Rivera leaves Keene police to serve as sheriff

KEENE - With the turn of the New Year, the Keene Police Department said goodbye to longtime lieutenant Eliezer Rivera and promoted two other officers.

Rivera, who was elected the new Cheshire County Sheriff by voters in November, left with over 21 years of service to Keene on Dec. 31. A Democrat, Rivera won the sheriff job in a close race against Republican Earl D. Nelson of Marlborough.

Outgoing sheriff Richard Foote, who served the county for the past 14 years, did not run for reelection.

Rivera has been a Keene lieutenant since 1991, and was most recently assigned as a shift commander in the Bureau of Uniformed Patrol. He previously served in the Bureau of Prosecution as the department's Police Prosecutor as well as in the Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

Rivera spent much of his career as a member and leader of the department's Field Training and Evaluation Program.

"Lieutenant Rivera's knowledge, experience, and leadership will be missed by the Department," Keene police said in a release Thursday.

Last week, the department also announced the promotion of Steven Tenney, Jr. to the rank of lieutenant and Michael Kopcha to the rank of sergeant.

Tenney has been assigned as a shift commander in the Bureau of Uniformed Patrol starting this month. Tenney started his career in police work as an officer in the department in 1999 after he served in the Army. He has been a sergeant since 2010, working as the department's shift supervisor in the Bureau of Uniformed Patrol. Prior to that, he was the department's K-9 officer and had worked with his K-9 partner, Laika, for six years.

Tenney will maintain a role in the department's K-9 program.

With his promotion to sergeant, Kopcha is now the department's shift supervisor in the Bureau of Uniformed Patrol. He has been an officer in the Keene force since 2008.

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