Westbrook officials on Monday named Sean Lally as the city’s next police chief.

Lally will replace Janine Roberts, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Lally, 48, is a veteran of the force and a captain with the department. He was chosen after Roberts told officials in September that she planned to retire and the city conducted a search for a replacement.

Lally has been with the Westbrook department for 23 years and has been a captain for the last five. During his time with the department, Lally has been a patrol officer, detective and sergeant and also served as an agent with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and liaison officer with the Southern Maine Violent Crimes Task Force.

Capt. Sean Lally is seen through a news reporter’s tripod while speaking to the media after being introduced as Westbrook’s new police chief on Monday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Mayor Michael T. Foley said Lally was chosen from three finalists and a five-member interview panel recommended him unanimously. Foley said Lally is “the results-oriented leader” city officials were seeking.

Lally said his goals include getting the department, which has a budget of about $3.6 million, fully staffed – four employees are waiting for the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to reopen so they can be trained. The academy has been closed because of the pandemic and the hope is that it will start operating again next year once vaccines are being dispensed.

Lally said adding the four officers will increase the department to 41 employees. It is authorized for 44.

Other priorities, Lally said, include increasing the department’s transparency and community initiatives.

Lally, who is married and has two children, will earn about $100,000 as chief, he said. He will be sworn in on Dec. 28.

Roberts, 56, is retiring after a 35-year career in police work and after six years as chief of the Westbrook Police Department, where she started a program to offer on-call assistance to victims of domestic violence and hired a full-time substance abuse liaison to help people with addiction problems. Roberts had served as a police officer in Portland for 29 years before becoming Westbrook’s chief in 2014.

Roberts is one of a handful of women leading police agencies in Maine and, with about 19,000 residents and 44 officers, Westbrook has been the largest community in Maine with a female-led police force.

The outgoing chief plans to start a business, Chief Cupcake’s Consulting, where she will offer workplace safety training to help businesses and their employees prepare for emergencies, disasters and threats of all kinds.


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