MANCHESTER, NH – A dozen Manchester Police supervisors were promoted Jan. 5 – five to sergeant, five to lieutenant and two new captains, including the department’s first female to attain the rank, Capt. Maureen Tessier.
The brief ceremony held at the Officer Michael Briggs Community Center on Lake Avenue was attended by about 200 friends and family members, including fellow police officers and local law enforcement officials.
Mayor Ted Gatsas offered remarks congratulating the 12 officers, and spoke about the excitement of seeing Capt. Maureen Tessier become the city’s first female captain. He also recognized the many cumulative years of service to the community the 12 officers have provided through careers in law enforcement.
Chief David Mara thanked the families of the officers for the sacrifices they have made over the years in lost time, as their loved ones took on the responsibility of serving and protecting the community.
“I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I’ve been thinking about everything that’s been going on across the country, when you see these news reports, about communities that are against their police departments, these protests, officers not feeling appreciated, they’re going out they’re risking their lives and the thanks they get, they get protests. I believe in Manchester we have the support of community and the city government – that’s not always the way. There are about 18,500 police departments around the country, and not all of them can say what I just said,” Mara said. “It’s a support that we cherish, it’s a support we want to continue and grow.”
Mara also took a moment to talk about the hard work of his department during a “scourge of drug addiction, opiates, heroin that city’s and towns are facing. The men and women that you see here in uniform, and some not, were able to bring our crime rate down 6 percent due to their hard work,” Mara said, adding that strides made in reducing crime depends on working closely with the public.
Eight of the 12 officers promoted were involved in one way or another the night Officer Michael Briggs was shot and killed – Capt. Soucy served on the SWAT team that sought the shooting suspect; Capt. Tessier was supervisor in charge on that fateful night; Sgt. Knight participated in the door-to-door search for the shooting suspect; Lieutenants Grant, Leighton, O’Keefe and Sgt. Loui all participated on the investigation team; and Lt. Reardon was the recipient of the department’s Meritorious Service Medal in 2007, recognizing his exemplary performance on the night Officer Briggs was shot, including engaging in a foot pursuit of the fleeing suspect, assisting with the initiation of a K-9 search and providing cover for the K-9 handlers, and later, as a member of the SWAT Team, assisting with the door-to-door search of the suspect.
Lee Briggs, father of Officer Briggs, honored Reardon by pinning his lieutenant’s badge on the front of his uniform.
Promotions: Capt. James Soucy, Capt. Maureen Tessier, Lt. Ryan Grant, Lt. Sean Leighton, Lt. Brian O’Keefe, Lt. Stephen Reardon, Lt. Andrew Vincent, Sgt. Robert Bellenoit, Sgt. Richard Brown Jr., Sgt. Eric D. Knight, Sgt. Peter Kucharski, Sgt. Kenneth Loui.
View video coverage of all 12 officer promotions below.