Fall has brought quite a few changes to the Needham Police Department.
In September, Chief Tom Leary retired and a lieutenant, Phil Droney, was promoted to chief. And at the selectmen's meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 29, Droney introduced five new police officers and announced the promotions of two existing members of the department—a sergeant, Matt Forbes, was promoted to lieutenant, while a patrol officer, Tom Dooher, was promoted to sergeant.
Forbes has a bachelor’s of arts in legal studies from the University of Massachusetts and a law degree from the New England School of Law. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, according to Droney. Forbes has worked for the Needham Police Department for close to a decade and most recently was assigned as supervisor to the patrol division.
“During his career, Matt had demonstrated superior leadership skills through his work as a patrol officer, field training officer and now as a patrol supervisor,” Droney said.
Dooher’s 10 years have been shared between the Needham Police Department and the MBTA Police Department. He also served nine years with the U.S. Air Force, where he attained the rank of staff sergeant, and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Droney said. Dooher has an associate’s degree in criminal justice and is working on his bachelor’s degree.
Dooher is a member of American Legion Post 14 and a past commander of VFW Post 2498.
The five new recruits have spent several months at the police academy and will be assigned to field training officers over the next few months, Droney said.
All five are Needham residents and Needham High School graduates.
- Officer Robert Peck enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1998, serving with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum in New York until 2000, and was then stationed in Korea with the Second Infantry Division, according to Droney. In 2005, Peck was deployed to Iraq with the 34th Infantry Division, serving 17 months and receiving numerous commendations, eventually promoted to sergeant. Peck worked in private security after his military service.
- Officer Roger Noll was working on his bachelor’s degree at Boston College when he was called about the job in Needham, Droney said. Noll has worked at the Charles River YMCA in Needham as a youth sports instructor and has relatives serving on the Boston Police Department.
- Officer Vincent Turco received his associate’s degree in criminal justice from MassBay Community College and has worked locally as a supervisor at CVS Pharmacy and in property management, Droney said. Turco’s family owns a business in Needham.
- Officer Michael Lamb has a bachelor’s degree from Colby-Sawyer College and has worked with the Needham Police Department and the Needham Park and Recreation Department in the past before being hired as a full-time police officer. He was married in June, Droney said.
- Officer Anthony Frongillo received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and has studied pre-med through the Harvard Extension School. He has worked as an EMT and with the Needham Department of Public Works over the summer, Droney said. Frongillo has also studied martial arts for more than 25 years and has obtained three black belts in mixed martial arts. He had coached wrestling at Needham High School.
After introductions, selectmen congratulated all seven officers on their new positions and offered some words of advice.
“You’re joining a great department, and we’re very pleased to have you on board,” board chairman Moe Handel said. “The Needham police do us proud, and you folks are doing Needham High School proud, too.”
Selectman Jim Healy told the new officers that one of the most important work they could do was to “instill confidence in Needham’s youth and young adults" and act as role models for the town’s young residents.
Selectman Dan Matthews reminded the new officers that they represent the town.
“The people that are in the uniformed services—police and fire—are really the face of the town to so many of our citizens, and we need you to remember that every day,” he said.
Later in the meeting, Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick noted that the Needham Fire Department would also be seeing some new faces, with five newly appointed firefighters set to start the academy in the spring.