The Wellesley Board of Selectmen held a reception to honor retiring Police Chief Terrence M. Cunningham on Monday, January 30, 2017 at the Town Hall. The event featured speakers from various departments in Wellesley, all of whom reflected upon Chief Cunningham’s 34 years of service to the Wellesley Police Department. Wellesley Selectman Barbara Searle coordinated the speakers, and also spoke on behalf of the Board of Selectmen.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker led the ceremony off, speaking not only of his friendship with Chief Cunningham, but also of the Chief’s service to the Commonwealth when he was the president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police. Governor Baker also congratulated Deputy Chief Pilecki on his upcoming promotion to Chief.
Representative Alice Peisch presented the Chief with a citation for his service to the community.
Recently retired Executive Director of Wellesley Government services Hans Larsen spoke of the many collaborations that he had with Chief Cunningham and the very strong working relationship between them. He also offered the Chief some humorous insights into retirement. Also making a presentation was Wellesley Fire Chief Rick Delorie, and Department of Public Works Director Mike Paktsis.
Wellesley Police Superior Officer Union President Sergeant Scott Showstead and Wellesley Patrolman Union President Tim Barros spoke on behalf of their organizations. Specifically, they both spoke of the Chief’s ability to work with the unions using an open door policy, in which a solution could always be found. Lt. Scott Whittemore spoke on behalf of the Honor Guard, which Chief Cunningham started early on in his career.
Deputy Chief Pilecki made a presentation about Chief Cunningham’s service in the department, including some of the challenges and successes that he faced during his 17 years as the Chief. He reflected on the leadership that Chief Cunningham has shown, and thanked him for bringing the department to where it is now.
The final speaker was Chief Cunningham. The Chief talked about the support that he has received from the town departments, the Board of Selectmen, and from the members of his department during his tenure as Chief. He gave some insights into the types of work he will be doing in his new role as the Deputy Executive Director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP.)
The reception was well attended by members of the Wellesley Police Department, many of whom were present as Deputy Chief Pilecki was sworn in at the Selectman’s meeting, which followed the reception.
Chief Cunningham retired on February 6, 2017, at which time Deputy Chief Pilecki took over as Wellesley’s 9th Chief of Police.