PORTLAND — Six police officers were sworn into top-ranking positions today, including assistant police chief and commander, before a standing-room-only crowd at the Portland Police Department’s auditorium.

Vern Malloch was sworn in as the assistant police 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.

Standing before an auditorium filled friends, families and city officials, Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said the promotions of Malloch, who has been acting assistant police chief since Sauschuck was named the top cop, and Rogers, who joined in 1988, were the culmination of a long, thorough interview process. That process for the first time included a special panel of police chiefs from South Portland, Westbrook and Lewiston.

“They really put everyone through the paces,”  Sauschuck said.

Malloch joined the department in 1982, working his way up through the ranks in his 27-year career. He was commander of the Portland Jetport on 9/11.

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

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

Doherty joined the force in 1994, becoming a fourth generation Portland police officer. His great grandfather, Michael McDonough, served from 1902 to 1936. 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 dad and grandfather, said he is the first police officer in his family to be promoted, but he does not 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: [email protected]

Twitter: @randybillings