Randolph, MA sees openly gay police chief

by Hannah Clay Wareham

Bay Windows

Thursday July 8, 2010

Randolph's William Pace sworn in.

An openly gay chief of police was sworn into office in Norfolk County on Monday, June 28. William Pace, a 20-year veteran of the Randolph police force, was appointed to patrolman in 1990, detective in 1996, and became a detective sergeant in 2003. He is the city's tenth police chief.

"I think it's a great thing that someone who's openly gay is in a position like that," said Dave Granese, President of the Gay Officers Action League of New England (GOAL/NE), a support group for openly gay and lesbian law enforcement officials and civilian employees of federal, state, and local agencies. "Hopefully [Pace] can fortify equality within the department and within the community."

The Patriot Ledger reported that more than 300 people were in attendance at the ceremony, held Monday evening in the Stetson Hall's meeting room. Pace promised to make the police department "as efficient and effective as possible," and said his plans include command staff reorganization, the introduction of a traffic bureau, and the introduction of regular motorcycle patrols.

Pace also pledged to maintain open lines of communication with the residents of Randolph. "To make sure that we are delivering the services that are needed, I will be reaching out to all the residents of the town, to listen to your concerns and to solicit your input," he said.

"I am proud of my partner...in his recent acheivement as Chief of Police," Pace's partner of six years Kenneth P. Oullette told Bay Windows. "I am certain that he will lead his department tirelessly to protect and serve the Town of Randolph, his hometown, a place in which we both deeply cherish. ...As I have been a resident of the town of Randolph for the past several years, I have discovered that this is truly a diverse community filled with dynamic and forward-thinking individuals."

Oullette and Pace are co-owners of William & Kenneth Fine Jewelry on Mazzeo Drive in Randolph.

Pace assumed the position of police chief on Friday, July 2. His predecessor Paul Porter retired after 35 years in the department -- the last 6 ½ of which he spent as chief. Porter said he's leaving Pace a "strong foundation" on which to build "towards achieving his and the police department's 21st century policing goals."

Pace included in his comments at the ceremony warning to potential lawbreakers. "Do not underestimate us; do not test our resolve," he said. "To those who bring violence to our streets, to those who threaten our lives and property, to those who threaten our children and our elders, I say you will be held accountable."

Copyright Bay Windows. For more articles from New England's largest GLBT newspaper, visit www.baywindows.com