LONDONDERRY — After proudly giving out numerous awards to the Londonderry Police Department staff at Monday's Town Council meeting, it was Capt. William Hart's turn to shake hands with the town manager, assistant town manager and members of the council.

The Council unanimously approved Town Manager Dave Caron's nomination of Hart as the town's new police chief.

Hart replaces Joseph Ryan, who retired in January after serving the community for 30 years. He had been serving as interim chief until a new one was chosen.

Hart was one of two internal candidates for the position.

"I am very pleased that we were able to select a new chief from within the rank of the Londonderry Police Department," Caron said.

"As the recruitment and interview process progressed, we knew that seeking candidates for chief from outside the organization would not be necessary."

A selection team made up of Caron, Town Councilor Paul DiMarco, School Superintendent Nate Greenberg, a town administrator from another community and a police chief from another community interviewed Hart and the other candidate over the last two months before choosing Hart as top candidate, Caron said.

"I'm humbled by the responsibility that I now face and the shoes that I have to fill," Hart said at Monday's council meeting.

Hart earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Merrimack College and is a graduate of Boston College Law School. Additionally, he is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a graduate of the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Academy.

Hart had been a captain with the department since 2001 and served as Rockingham County attorney from 1995 to 1998. He was Londonderry's police prosecutor from 1992 to 1994.

Hart's salary as chief has been established at $90,250.

"Chief Ryan did an outstanding job in my judgment, assuring that Londonderry had professional police service at all times," Hart said in a phone interview Tuesday.

"Like so many communities, we are facing challenges in developing budgets and I look forward to working with the town's leaders to continue delivering the same level of professional service."

Londonderry Police Department Awards

Civilian of the Year

Michael Simpson

Officer of the Year

Detective Patrick Cheetham

Officer of the Year (Honorable Mention)

K-9 Officer John Perry

Department Award for Valor

Officer Jason Teufel

Officer Brian Allaire

Officer Joseph Bellino

Sergeant Ryan Kearney

Commendation Bar - Distinguished Unit Action

Sergeant David Carver

Sergeant Kim Bernard

Officer Brian Allaire

Officer Scott Balukonis

Officer Joseph Bellino

Officer Kelly Kulig

Officer Ronald Randall

Officer Glenn Aprile

Commendation Bar for Meritorious Service

K-9 Officer John Perry

Letters of Commendation

Officer Joseph Bellino

Sergeant Ryan Kearney

Officer Adam Lane

Officer Kristin Gore

Special Award for Community Service

Jonathon Watson, 12, of Chester

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