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Three begin new positions at Watertown Police Department

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Three members of the Watertown Police Department began serving in new positions last week.

Joseph R. Donoghue Sr., a detective sergeant since 2009, was promoted to lieutenant.

Lt. Donoghue, who in July will have been a member of the department for 29 years, was an investigator for 18 years.

He was promoted to that role in 1996 and was named patrol sergeant in 2006 before being named detective sergeant.

Lt. Donoghue fills a position opened by the August retirement of Lt. Frank J. Derrigo.

With the promotion, Lt. Donoghue will be the commanding officer of the Criminal Investigations Division and other day-to-day operations. He also will be a media spokesman for the department.

Filling his old job is John V. Oliveau, who was transferred from his previous role of administrative sergeant. According to Watertown police Capt. Cheryl A. Clark, the move for Sgt. Oliveau is a lateral one. Before being promoted to sergeant in June 2006, Sgt. Oliveau was a patrol shift supervisor and day-shift patrolman. He will have been with the city police for 20 years in March.

In this new role, Sgt. Oliveau will focus on assisting fellow officers with investigations, Capt. Clark said.

In a corresponding move, Officer Christopher L. Thomas was promoted to the sergeant’s post opened by Sgt. Oliveau’s move. Sgt. Thomas, who will have been a member of the department for 11 years in June, serves on its Special Response Team.

For each of the positions, a civil service examination was required. According to Capt. Clark, at least three people must apply and take the test for each position, a requirement, she said, the department had no problem meeting.

She said nearly all eligible patrol officers, aside from those within a year or two of retiring, took the exam for the sergeant position that Sgt. Thomas now has.

The top three scorers for each position were interviewed, Capt. Clark said, and while the final decision was by Police Chief Gary R. Comins, Capt. Clark said the process was tough.

“It’s impossible to say that one officer is better than another,” she said. “It makes it that much more difficult.”

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