A man who has been with the Wareham Police Department for 30 years is now the department's permanent chief.

John Walcek, who served as interim chief for two years, was sworn in by Town Clerk Michele Bissonnette at Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Selectmen. The board earlier took a unanimous vote in support of Walcek's promotion.

Before a standing room crowd, Walcek presented his wife with a bouquet of flowers and thanked her “for always having my back, all the Saturdays and Sundays, all the long days, you’ve always had my back.”

Walcek praised his officers, who offered supportive words in return. “I want to thank my brother and sister officers, for all their hard work and dedication, for always being there,” Walcek said.

Those assembled at the meeting broke into applause to welcome the new chief.

Walcek had been appointed acting chief in May 2018, following the retirement of former Chief Kevin Walsh.

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