South Portland has hired Daniel Ahern of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, as its new police chief.

Ahern, currently the deputy chief in Chelmsford, will take over Feb. 1.

Ahern will replace Timothy Sheehan, who resigned in April 2021, after 15 months on the job. Since then, the department has had two interim chiefs. Former Deputy Police Chief Amy Berry served as the interim from April to August 2021. Since August, James DiGianvittorio has been interim chief.

“Our Police Department has seen significant change over the past two years so it is important for us to find the right person to both steady the ship and lead the department into the future,” said City Manager Scott Morelli in a press release.

Morrelli did not respond to a request for further comment before The Forecaster’s deadline.

Ahern has 27 years of law enforcement experience, a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He is also a graduate of the 277th Session of the FBI National Academy.


“He has the education, experience, and personality to build on our department’s history of excellence, and I was impressed by his willingness to make a long-term commitment to our community,” Morelli said in the statement.

Ahern was selected from a field of nine applicants and, when he is sworn in, will become the eighth permanent police chief in the city’s history.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work alongside the men and women of the South Portland Police Department,” he said in the press release announcing his hiring.  “As your new chief, I am committed to build upon the already strong and trusted relationships with the community.”

Chelmsford, 24 miles northwest of Boston, has a population of 36,392 compared to South Portland, which has 26,498 residents, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.

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