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Interest in UMass Lowell's top cop post is more than just academic
The Lowell Sun



DENNIS CORMIER -- close chum of City Manager John F. Cox, the top-paid city employee the last few years and one of two deputy police superintendents -- is one of several Lowell men in blue who've made it known they're veeeery interested in the UMass-Lowell chief job., UMass-Lowell has advertised the job as director of public safety/chief of police with an anticipated hiring salary range between $85,000-$115,000. Applications are being accepted until April 22.

The job is opening due to the reassignment of Pat Reardon.

Although the UMass-Lowell force is comprised of about a dozen sworn, fully-trained officers, whoever gets picked will also oversee dozens of other security personnel.

With much focus today on college students' behavior, safety issues, and terrorism threats, the job isn't the cakewalk that some say it is.

Cormier joins Officer Russ Taylor, the department's top motorcycle officer, and Chuck Ouellette, a civilian in charge of administrative services, as the most serious candidates said to be eyeing the job.

The names of Lt. Thomas Meehan, currently head of the Traffic Bureau, and Jerry Flynn, the officer on an extended, non-paid leave now employed as a national vice president for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, have also been tossed around.

Make no mistake: Cormier's likely candidacy raises the most intrigue. Under the Cox administration, Cormier has lived high off the hog.

Last year, for example, when all other top salaries in the police department decreased after much public scrutiny, only Cormier's rose -- and to a record $153,073.

The first few questions that come to mind are:

* Does Cormier know something about Cox's future that could negatively impact him?

* Is Police Superintendent Edward Davis behind it? If so, it could jettison from the department a key Cox spy.

* Is it an acknowledgment by Cox that hell will freeze over before Cormier could ever get the top job in Lowell?

* Has Cormier had it with all the scrutiny from the press and the city council?

If Cormier were indeed to apply and was successful, there'd be no dearth of candidates looking
to snatch his $103,200-a-year job.

But as the aforementioned figure indicates, the potential for earning much more for an eager beaver like Cormier can indeed be lucrative.

Already salivating is Capt. Bill Taylor, the department's administrative officer and part of Davis' inner circle.

But certainly there would be plenty of other captains interested -- in fact, the same group of guys and gals that was eyeing Davis' job when he was a finalist for Boston's top police job a year ago. On that list would likely be Deborah Friedl, John Flaherty, Arthur Ryan Jr., Kevin Staveley and Jonathan Webb
 
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