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Lebanon's new police chief has been with department since 1987

Union Leader Correspondent

November 04. 2013 6:39PM

Lebanon Police Chief Gary J. Smith 

LEBANON — Interim Police Chief Gary J. Smith has been appointed the city's new chief, City Manager Greg Lewis announced Monday.

"I'm proud to have Gary, with his years of leadership and excellence on the force, step in to this most important role for Lebanon," Lewis said. "I thank him on behalf of the city for taking on the responsibilities of police chief."

Smith, 61, has been interim chief since Police Chief James Alexander retired in February. Smith has been a deputy chief in the department since March 2006.

Though the city advertised for a new chief immediately, Smith said Monday he did not initially apply for the position because he had worked behind the scenes for so long in the department and did not know if he was up for the public role a police chief must fill.

"I was the inside man," Smith said of his role as deputy chief.

After gaining some experience as interim chief, making public representations and dealing with other city officials, Smith said he felt he was up for the task and applied for the position. "Having done it, I see that I have the capacity for it."

Smith has been with the department since 1987, when he joined as a patrolman.

Smith said he grew up in East Boston and was drawn to the Upper Valley region because of the police job opportunity.

Through the years, he advanced through the ranks, holding positions as corporal, sergeant, lieutenant and captain before being named deputy police chief. He has held all supervisory positions available within the department, Lewis said.

"I'm very proud of this department. I've held pretty much every position the department offers, so it's been a long journey," Smith said.

In March 2004, he was named to the Governor's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. Smith is a member of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and the New Hampshire Police Association.

Smith will begin his official duties as chief Nov. 12.

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