PORTLAND – Six officers were sworn in Friday to top-ranking positions in the Portland Police Department, including the assistant police chief and commander, before a standing-room-only crowd in the police station’s auditorium.

Vern Malloch was sworn in as assistant chief, while Gary Rogers was sworn in as commander — the third-highest position in the department.

Cliff Strout and Robert Doherty Jr. were sworn in as lieutenants, and Jeffrey Calloway and David Mulry were sworn in as sergeants.

Malloch joined the department in 1982, and has worked his way up through the ranks in his 27-year career.

“He’s someone I trust implicitly to do the right thing,” said Police Chief Michael Sauschuck, who at one point served as a captain under Malloch.

Sauschuck described Rogers, who joined the department in 1988, as a “quiet leader who is rock solid in any situation.”

Sauschuck said the hiring process for assistant chief and commander included, for the first time, a special panel of police chiefs from South Portland, Westbrook and Lewiston. “They really put everyone through the paces,” he said.

Doherty joined the force in 1994, becoming a fourth-generation Portland police officer. His great-grandfather Michael McDonough served from 1902 to 1936. Both of his grandfathers, Phil McDonough and Tom Doherty, served, from 1940 to 1976 and 1936 to 1972, respectively. And his father, Robert Doherty Sr., served from 1966 to 1986.

Doherty, who wears badge No. 51 like his father and grandfather, said he is the first police officer in his family to be promoted, but he doesn’t think it’s a big deal.

“It’s all the same to me,” he said. “They were all police officers. It’s a noble run.”

Staff Writer Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

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