SOUTH PORTLAND — Lt. Kevin Gerrish has been selected to become deputy chief of the South Portland Police Department, City Manager Scott Morelli announced Wednesday.

Lt. Kevin Gerrish will be the next deputy chief of the South Portland Police Department. Photo courtesy of South Portland Police Department

Gerrish joined the department in November 2001, and has served more than six years as a sergeant and two as a lieutenant. He replaces Amy Berry, who served as deputy chief for nearly 20 years and retired in August 2021 after 44 years with the department.

Gerrish holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from Husson University and continued his training with the FBI, International Association of Chiefs of Police and South Portland Leadership Academy, among other organizations.

Since becoming a lieutenant in 2019, Gerrish has commanded the Southern Maine Regional Crisis Negotiator Team, headed the department’s candidate recruitment team, overseen patrol functions and assisted in supervising, training and evaluating officers. He also founded the annual South Portland Police Department Awards Ceremony and pancake breakfast, where he and his sons can be seen cooking breakfast for the numerous attendees.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as South Portland’s next deputy police chief,” Gerrish said in a written statement. “I am so proud of this department and the relationships that we have created with our community. I look forward to the opportunity to assist in strengthening these relationships, while continuing to aid our current officers, who are committed to serving and protecting our citizens, day in and day out.”

South Portland’s civil service ordinance limits internal candidates for the deputy chief position to existing lieutenants who meet certain qualifications. Three of the department’s four lieutenants applied for the job and went through interviews, rankings and assessments with the city’s Civil Service Commission, the interim police chief and the city manager.

“Kevin’s experience, education and performance at the assessment center, along with recommendations from chiefs past and present, made him the top choice,” Morelli said. “I look forward to the energy and dedication he will bring to this position.”

Gerrish will start his new role after passing drug and physical fitness tests, Morelli said. His annual salary will be $100,880.

The city is interviewing candidates to fill the opening created when former Chief Tim Sheehan resigned from the department in April 2021. No candidates for that job were selected during an interview process last summer. James DiGianvittorio, who retired as police chief of Middleton, Massachusetts, currently serves as the department’s interim chief.

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