PLAISTOW — A former Salem police officer has been appointed interim police chief, while a 37-year member of the fire department will serve as interim fire chief.
Doug Mullin and John Judson appeared before selectmen at Monday night’s board meeting to introduce themselves after they were appointed to the temporary roles for the next six months as the search for replacements continues.
Mullin will replace Kathleen Jones, who retired as police chief last month.
Judson, who is Plaistow’s deputy fire chief and a fire captain in Salem, will take the fire chief’s role after John McArdle also retired at the same time.
Mullin, 61, of Salem, was a patrolman at the Salem Police Department from 1984 to 2008, where he was assigned to units that included the detective division. He also spent two years with the Atkinson Police Department and has worked at the Hampstead Police Department since 2009. His duties in Hampstead have included purchasing and equipping vehicles and assisting with accident reconstruction.
Selectman Steve Ranlett questioned Mullin’s administrative experience in law enforcement. Mullin said he’s never been a police chief.
After the meeting, he said he’s worked as a police officer and has not held a higher rank.
Mullin was also hired as Plaistow’s emergency management director in October and remains in that position. He is a former private corporate pilot as well.
Mullin was sworn in as interim chief on Dec. 26 and said he’s already been working on changes that include updating policies and procedures and purchasing 15 Tasers for officers to begin using once they’re trained. He said the department hasn’t had Tasers, but he plans to use asset forfeiture money to buy them.
Mullin said he worked closely with Town Manager Mark Pearson when the two were on the Salem police force. Pearson is a retired Salem captain.
“I worked under him for many years,” Mullin said.
He’ll be paid $40 an hour to serve in the interim position.
Judson will be paid $34.58 an hour as interim fire chief.