WPD Chief Michael Begonis

WPD Chief Michael Begonis. (photo: BruceHilliard.com)

WILMINGTON — On April 5, 2019, Wilmington Police Chief Michael Begonis will retire after 31 years of dedicated service.

Begonis is a Wilmington native who joined the police department in 1988. Starting off as a patrol officer, he then worked as a detective until 1998 when he was promoted to sergeant. In 2001 he moved up to the rank of lieutenant.

After leading the department’s Investigative and Spe­cial Services Bureau, he was promoted to deputy chief in 2004, and was named chief of police a year later in 2005.

Chief Begonis had originally planned to retire in Janu­ary of 2018, but decided to stay on and help the community address a number of is­sues, such as mental health issues and the opioid crisis that has affected many Mas­sa­chusetts communities, in­cluding the Town of Wilming­ton. Begonis has championed the department’s substance abuse coordinator position, and im­proved the department’s in­volvement and handling of addiction and substance abuse situations within the community.

Although Begonis will be re­tiring from a rewarding ca­reer on the Wilmington Po­lice De­partment, he will be em­bark­ing on a new career in the private sector doing work similar to the Northeastern Massa­chusetts Law Enforce­ment Council emergency re­sponse.

During the town's last Board of Selectmen meeting, Chief Begonis was praised for his many years of service by the Board and Town Ma­nager Jeffrey Hull.

The Board of Selectmen hope to name a replacement for Begonis by this summer. Until then, Hull has named Lt. Joseph Des­mond, a 31-year veteran of the department, as interim acting chief until a permanent re­placement is found.

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