City Clerk Emily Scully swears in new South Portland Police Chief Timothy Sheehan on Jan. 13 by. Courtesy / City of South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND — In recent weeks, the city has welcomed new Police Chief Timothy Sheehan and sent retiring Chief Ed Googins off in style.

Sheehan joins the Police Department after serving as the chief in Tewksbury, Massachusetts for the past 10 years. He was officially sworn in by City Clerk Emily Scully during a special ceremony held Jan. 13 at City Hall.

On Jan. 24, members of the department bid goodbye to Googins, who started as police chief in South Portland in 1994 after a distinguished career with the Portland Police Department.

The South Portland Police Department gathered Jan. 24 to honor outgoing Police Chief Ed Googins, shown with his wife, Rebecca. Kate Irish Collins / The Forecaster

Googins was sent off last week with a last radio call ceremony that included an honor guard. As he got to the end of the line of officers gathered to salute him, Googins thanked them and said it was his honor to have served with them over the years.

The last call was with his daughter, Jessica Googins, who is now a detective with the Portland Police. She commended her father for representing the “very best the badge has to offer” and said it’s her “highest honor” to wear the same badge her father did so many years ago.

“Enjoy your retirement, you’ve earned it,” Jessica Googins added. “The men and women you’ve hired and supported have it from here.”

Googins first announced his intention to retire this past summer.

In a July interview, Googins said the most rewarding part of his job was building strong relationships within the community. He also noted that police work is much more complex than it was when he first started in 1971, in particular dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues.

“I am incredibly grateful and honored to have been selected,” Sheehan stated in a news release. “I plan to work tirelessly to earn the respect of the members of the department and community and I recognize I have some really big shoes to fill.”

“I am looking forward to not only having Chief Sheehan continue with the things that have made our department one of the premier agencies in the state and country but also bringing new ideas and insights as well,” City Manager Scott Morelli said at Sheehan’s swearing-in.

“No matter who we selected, they were going to have big shoes to fill coming in after Chief Googins,” Morelli said in a news release. “He helped make the South Portland Police Department the best in the state, in my opinion. The selection team was confident that Tim was the right person to succeed Chief Googins and I’m looking forward to both the stability and new ideas that he can bring to the table.”

Sheehan will earn an initial salary of $101,982 and is just the seventh police chief in South Portland history.

Sheehan became the police chief in Tewksbury, Massachusetts in 2009, after joining the department in 1987. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice from Springfield College and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Western New England College. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

During more than three decades in law enforcement, he’s received several commendations and citations, including for providing tactical support to the Boston Police Department in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. He also received the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health’s Law Enforcement Exemplary Leadership Award this past summer for his collaborative efforts in addressing the opioid epidemic.

Retiring South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins takes his last call Jan. 24. Kate Irish Collins / The Forecaster

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