MANCHESTER, NH – After nearly three years as the city’s top cop, Chief Nick Willard appears to be ready for a new challenge. On Thursday, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Willard to serve as the United States Marshal for the District of New Hampshire.
As a presidential appointment, nominees for U.S. Marshal go before the Senate Judiciary Committee and then to the full Senate for confirmation, a process which normally takes from two to sixth months.
Willard said he is honored by the nomination.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled by the faith President Trump has in me to serve in such an important capacity,” Willard said on Thursday.
Willard has made several trips to Washington, D.C., as a member of a national task force on opioid/addiction best practices, and hosted candidate Trump at Manchester Police headquarters while he was campaigning in New Hampshire.
The announcement, as posted on Whitehouse.gov April 26, 2018, reads:
If confirmed, Enoch “Nick” Willard of New Hampshire will serve as the United States Marshal for the District of New Hampshire. Nick Willard currently serves as Chief of Police for the Manchester, New Hampshire, Police Department, a position he has held since 2015. He began his law enforcement career as a Patrol Officer with the Sanbornton, New Hampshire, Police Department, after serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1985 to 1989. He joined the Manchester Police Department as a Patrol Officer in 1992. In his nearly 26 years with the department, he rose through the ranks, serving as Detective, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Detective Lieutenant, Detective Captain, and Assistant Chief of Police, before assuming his current role as Chief of Police in July 2015. He holds an A.S. in Criminal Justice from the New Hampshire Technical Institute, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy’s 247th Session.
In light of this announcement, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig has released the following statement:
“I am happy for Chief Willard, and thank him for his years of service to Manchester. Under Chief Willard’s leadership, the Manchester Police Department effectively used predictive analytics to drive down the crime rate. His trademark, however, is his fierce advocacy for children – implementing the Adverse Childhood Experience Response Team (ACERT) which helps children exposed to trauma receive the services and care they need, starting Beards for Bucks that has raised over $100,000 for Child Advocacy Centers, and recommending that funding for the drug epidemic be prioritized to child protection efforts. Chief Willard’s dedication to our youth, and community at large is inspiring, and his departure will be a loss for the city. That said, this is an incredible opportunity, and I, on behalf of the City of Manchester, wish him the best of luck.”
Presidentially appointed U.S. Marshals direct the activities of 94 districts — one for each federal judicial district, and employs more than 3,752 Deputy Marshals and Criminal Investigators. Duties include apprehension of federal fugitives, protecting the federal judiciary, operating the Witness Security Program, transporting federal prisoners and seizing property acquired by criminals through illegal activities.
Willard, a sworn Manchester police officer since 1992, took over duties as Chief of Police on July 1, 2015, upon the retirement of Chief David Mara. In a letter of nomination supporting Willard to replace Mara, then Mayor Ted Gatsas summarized Willard’s qualifications for the job:
“He began as a Patrolman and rose through the ranks as a Detective, Detective Supervisor, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and to his current role as Assistant Chief of Police.
He has twice been the recipient of the Manchester Police Department’s Honorable Service Award. Once for the rescue of a 7-year old kidnap victim, whom he resuscitated upon finding, and another in acknowledgement for his role as the lead investigator in the Officer Michael Briggs homicide investigation. He was later presented with the Chief’s Achievement Award for his tireless work during the pretrial, trial, and sentencing phases on the Briggs homicide case. He was also selected as an honorable mention for the National Association of Police Organizations “Top Cop” Award. Nick is also a past recipient of the U.S. Marshals Service Award for the arrest of a US Marshal top 10 fugitive.”