Chief Mark Zimmerman Sworn In to Lead North Reading Police Department

North Reading, MA — The North Reading Police Department is pleased to announce that Chief Mark Zimmerman was sworn in to lead the department Wednesday following the retirement of Chief Michael Murphy.

Chief Zimmerman was sworn in during a ceremony at North Reading High School on Wednesday morning August 2 with family, friends, police officers and members of the North Reading leadership, and members of the Statehouse delegation and Fire Department on hand.

North Reading Police Chief Mark Zimmerman takes the oath of office as it is administered by Town Clerk Susan Duplin. (Courtesy North Reading Police Department)

Chief Zimmerman, in a speech after he was formally sworn in, thanked retired Chief Murphy for his guidance, professionalism, and support over the years.

“Chief Murphy spent 29 years here and led us into an era of true professionalism,” Chief Zimmerman said. “He has left us in excellent shape.”

Zimmerman also thanked his family for supporting him, and addressed the officers of the department directly.

“Policing today is much more than simply investigating crimes and arresting those who do wrong. It is providing counseling to families. It’s getting someone facing mental illness or substance use the help they need, working out civil disputes between neighbors and knowing the resources available to help them. This new direction is the core of community policing and I’m very proud of how you have not only accepted these changes, but have truly embraced and excelled in them,” Chief Zimmerman said. “In these times we need to remember why we chose this profession and what it means to serve the residents of North Reading. We serve to protect the Constitution. We serve so that everyone has the protection of the law no matter what their current station in life is or where they’re from. Everyone, no matter where they are at this point in their life, has intrinsic value and the right to justice, and we must remember that. We serve to protect the fabric of this great community.”

Chief Zimmerman is the town’s first chief chosen outside of the Civil Service system. He was selected by an assessment team who considered both internal candidates and candidates from across the nation.

Town Administrator Michael P. Gilleberto said Chief Zimmerman has been with the North Reading Police Department since 1993. Chief Zimmerman served with the Lynn Fire Department for five years, and served with the U.S. Air Force for four years.

Zimmerman was promoted to Sergeant in 1999, and served as the Department’s civil rights officer, commander of the Honor Guard, training officer, elderly affairs liaison, domestic violence supervisor, and DARE instructor/juvenile officer. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2011, serving as the Department’s executive officer.

“We know policing is a tough job in this era. We know that it demands many things of the people who show leadership in the roles of chief of the Police Department. We know you have to be capable. We know you have to be resourceful. We know you need to understand the needs of the community, and focus on not only enforcing the law, but also working with folks so that the law is not transgressed in the first place,” said Sen. Bruce Tarr. “Your tenure with the North Reading Police Department proves to us that you are worthy of the trust and confidence that’s been placed in you, and we very much look forward to the accomplishments of the department that are yet to come.”
State Rep. Brad Jones also spoke and presented Chief Zimmerman with a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

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