The Marion Police Department is announcing that Richard B. Nighelli has officially begun  his new role as police chief. Chief Nighelli, a 17-year veteran of the department, was sworn in during a private ceremony at the Marion Police station on Thursday, Jan. 7.

"As a member of the Marion Police Department for a majority of my career, it is an honor for me to step into this position," Chief Nighelli said. "I’d like to thank the men and women of the Marion Police Department who come to work each and every day, night, weekend and holiday to ensure Marion is a safe place to live. Your efforts do not go unnoticed."

Nighelli pledged to foster the department's relationship with the community through transparency and open communication.

"Our department is fortunate to be part of a wonderful and supportive community," Nighelli said. "Since being named chief of police, I have been overwhelmed by the support that I have received from the community, which means a lot to myself, my family and the department. As Chief, I will continue to ensure that the Marion Police Department provides professional, courteous and exceptional service to our residents."

Nighelli began his career as a police officer with the Department of Mental Health in Boston in 1999. He became a patrolman with the Nantucket Police Department in 2002 before being hired as patrolman with the Marion Police Department in 2003. He was promoted to sergeant in 2007 and to lieutenant in January 2018.  In that year, he managed Marion’s state re-accreditation process. He attended the New England Law Enforcement FBI Executive Development Seminar in and completed a two-week comprehensive training program for police supervisory personnel at Roger Williams University. He was selected to be Marion’s new chief in May 2020 and has served as acting chief since Dec. 12, 2020.

Nighelli holds a bachelor's degree in law enforcement from Western New England University. He is a certified field training officer and Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission State Assessor, and has trained in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Incident Command Systems, SWAT operations, emergency medical dispatch and 911 telecommunications.

In 2014, Nighelli assisted in the on-site planning and search for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in Watertown. He also received commendations for an attempted murder investigation in 2006 and a fugitive from justice arrest in 2004. He previously served as operations commander for the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) SWAT team.

"I'd like to congratulate Chief Nighelli on this new step in his career," said Town Administrator James McGrail. "I have no doubt that his wealth of knowledge and experience will serve him well as Chief of Police, and I look forward to seeing how the department continues to grow and evolve under his leadership."

He and his wife Holly are the parents of two children. "Holly has supported all of my career advancements while putting her career on hold to raise our kids," Chief Nighelli said. "I am confident that without her support of my career and its often irregular schedule, achieving the position of Chief of Police would not have been possible."

Nighelli is a member of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, Southeastern Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police and Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.

Chief Nighelli took over his new role following the retirement of Chief John Garcia, who officially retired on Jan. 2 after a 36-year career in law enforcement.

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