GOULDSBORO — Patrick J. McNulty, a retired veteran detective sergeant with the Providence Police Department in Rhode Island, will take over as the town’s new police chief Aug. 4. McNulty, whose extensive law enforcement career and investigative probes ranged widely from sex-trafficking to police corruption, was one of two candidates interviewed for the job. He succeeds John Shively and will be the fourth police chief in six years.
At the selectmen’s July 22 meeting, Board Chairman Dana Rice informed the public of McNulty’s hiring and work start date. Interim Town Manager Eve Wilkinson told The American that McNulty was interviewed twice — once via Zoom in June and in-person in early July — by an appointed committee of law enforcement professionals including former Milbridge Police Chief Lewis Pinkham, retired New Jersey State Police Detective Paul Gapch and Mike Pinkham, who served as a Marine Patrol Officer for decades in eastern Maine.
On July 8, McNulty was recommended for the job and offered a one-year contract with a six-month probationary period. His annual salary is $65,000 with employee benefits except health insurance. He declined the latter.
“I was very impressed. He has been in law enforcement his whole life,” Rice said July 23, adding that McNulty met Gouldsboro Police Officer Adam Brackett. “He [McNulty] appears to be what we are searching for.”
From 1992 to 2011, McNulty worked for the Providence Police Department. At the time of his retirement, his last position was supervising the department’s Narcotics and Organized Crime Bureau. In that capacity, he engaged in narcotics and organized crime investigations on a state, regional, federal and international level. He supervised criminal cases pertaining to organized crime and criminal gangs (MS 13, Latin Kings).
During his tenure, he served as a criminal investigator for the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General Narcotics Strike Force. He participated in routine and drug cases with local statewide and national impact. He has been credited with successful outcomes in several human trafficking investigations.
Since his retirement in 2011, McNulty worked for eight years as a consultant in Costa Rica’s hospitality industry and co-founded Ocean Rescue for Tamarindo Costa Rica. He also served as dean of students at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.
McNulty holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts (painting) from the University of Massachusetts’s Swain School of Design. He also is an avid runner, biker and surfer.
At Gouldsboro’s 2021 Town Meeting, voters overwhelmingly shot down a warrant article to disband the town’s police department. A majority also rejected granting selectmen the option to contract with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. Most of the estimated 180 voters in attendance preferred having police officers who know the community and can be relied on to provide prompt response to emergencies and handle day-to-day issues.