June 12 2018

Seven Police Department Members Promoted to New Positions

By: Rich Hosford

The Town Hall meeting room was packed with members of the Burlington Police Department and family members of officers on Monday as promotions were announced for seven of the department’s officers.

The promotions represent the continued evolution in the leadership and operations of the Burlington Police Department, as veteran leaders retire or move on to other roles and new leaders continue to rise. The members promoted were:

- Lieutenant Robert T. Kirchner to Captain

- Det. Sergeant Timothy McDonough to Lieutenant

- Sergeant Daniel Hanafin to Lieutenant

- Sergeant Kevin Cooney to Lieutenant

- Patrolman Bernard Schipelliti to Sergeant

- Detective Thomas Carlson to Sergeant

- Patrolman Peter T. Abaskharoun to Sergeant

“I am incredibly proud of this slate of promotions, as it shows the tremendous depth of leadership we have in the Burlington Police Department,” Chief Michael Kent said. “Expectations have never been higher, and the citizens of Burlington can count on the training, experience, and skills of these seven officers to deliver the constant levels of service and professionalism they rightly expect from their police department.”

Kent provided the following information on each of the seven members:

Captain Robert T. Kirchner

A 1982 Burlington High School graduate, Captain Kirchner is a highly educated and well-trained veteran of the Burlington Police Department. He received his bachelor's degree in business management from Suffolk University in 1988 and earned a master's degree in criminal justice administration in 2000 from Western New England University.

Captain Kirchner completed the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development course in 2013 and is a 2016 graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police.

He joined the department in 1988, became sergeant in 2002 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2011.

Further, he has been a Burlington Youth Hockey coach for more than 25 years. He is the son of the late Robert and Patricia Kirchner and is married to Jennifer with three sons.

Lieutenant Timothy McDonough

Lieutenant McDonough is a Burlington native who joined the Burlington Police Department in 1988. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Mass College of Liberal Arts and a master's degree in criminal justice administration from Western New England University.

He has previously served on the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) SWAT Team. He is certified as a Federal Active Shooter Instructor by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

In 2005, members of NEMLEC SWAT responded to an armed, barricaded hostage situation in Pepperell. The suspect fired multiple shots at the SWAT team while holding a hostage for over three hours before the SWAT team was able to negotiate a release of the captive and peaceful surrender of the suspect. For his actions in this event, Lieutenant McDonough was awarded the George L. Hanna Memorial Award for Bravery in 2006 by Governor Mitt Romney.

He is the son of John and Marylou McDonough, who have lived in Burlington for more than 60 years. He is married to Rachel with three children.

Lieutenant Daniel Hanafin

Lieutenant Hanafin is a Burlington native who was appointed to the department in 2005 after a first career in communications and corporate sales. He holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications from Boston University, where he played football on an athletic scholarship in the 1990s, becoming a team captain his senior year. He is a current member of the NEMLEC SWAT Team and serves as a firearms and defensive tactics instructor for the Burlington Police Department.

He has been recognized with Letters of Commendations for his response as a NEMLEC member to the Boston Marathon Bombing; along with a Homicide in 2015 when he responded, and helped supervise the scene.

Lieutenant Hanafin is the son of Rose and the late Charlie Hanafin. He lives in town with his wife Angela and five sons.

Further, Lieutenant Hanafin is also a longtime youth football coach in town and has been continuously elected to town meeting since 2001.

Lieutenant Kevin Cooney

Born and raised in Burlington, Lieutenant Cooney is a 1983 graduate of Burlington High School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Hesser College in criminal justice Lt. Cooney served as a Pepperell officer for four years before joining the Burlington Police Department in 1987.

He received a letter of commendation for his response and supervision of an early morning homicide that occurred in 2015.

His duties additionally include overseeing all cruiser and radio procurement and maintenance.

Lt. Cooney is the son of Mary and the late Kevin Cooney of Burlington. He is married to Darlene and has three daughters.

Sergeant Bernard Schipelliti

Sergeant Schipelliti is a 1982 graduate of Burlington High School. He holds a bachelor's degree in law enforcement and received his master's degree in criminal justice administration in 2002, both from Western New England University.

Joining the Burlington Police Department in 1985 as a special police officer, Sergeant Schipelliti became a full-time officer in 1988. He has served as traffic safety officer since 1998. In addition, he is a Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor and Traffic Occupant Protection Strategies Instructor; along with being the current and past President of the Massachusetts Safety Officers League.

He is the son of Josephine and the late Luciano Schipelliti of Burlington. He is married to Pauline and has three daughters along with a son who is currently deployed as a member of the United States Army, serving in Korea.

Sergeant Thomas Carlson

Sergeant Carlson is a 1997 Burlington High School graduate and a 2002 graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in criminal justice. In 2015, he received his master's degree in justice studies and public administration from Southern New Hampshire University.

Joining the Burlington Police Department in 2004, he has served as detective since 2014. In 2012 he received a letter of commendation for his response to a dangerous homicide scene. In 2015 he was the lead investigator in a homicide that resulted in a life sentence for the two perpetrators, for which he received an additional letter of commendation.

Sgt. Carlson is a town meeting member and also coaches youth sports in Burlington.

He is the son of Thomas and Karen Carlson and is married to Lindsay with two young children.

Sergeant Peter T. Abaskharoun

Sergeant Abaskharoun is a 1998 graduate of Burlington High School and a 2004 graduate of Northeastern University with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He received his master's degree from Anna Maria College in 2009.

Before coming to Burlington PD in 2004, he was a New Hampshire State Trooper for two years.

A founding member of the BPD Honor Guard, his credentials also include serving as a certified bicycle patrol officer and state certified firearms instructor.

Sergeant Abaskharoun is a decorated officer, having received a lifesaving commendation from the Burlington Board of Selectmen in 2008 and a commendation from Chief Kent for his work in response to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing and search in Watertown as a member of NEMLEC RRT.

He is the son of Mary and the late Tharwat Adly Abaskharoun. He is married to Kristyn with a two year old son and a baby daughter expected later this year.

Board of Selectmen Comments

After the promotions were announced and each man shook hands with Town Administrator John Petrin and the members of the Board of Selectmen, the town leaders took a moment to add their thoughts.

Petrin said throughout the evening that he was proud to make each promotion and that each member of the department listed above had proved himself through dedicated work for the department and the town. He also said that as a whole the Burlington Police Department was very highly regarded in the state and that other chiefs often say “they try to do what Burlington does.”

Members of the board agreed with Petrin both on the officers promoted and on the caliber of the department.

“Chief, you’ve done such a great job with this department,” Selectman Joe Morandi said. “It’s not just the commendations, it’s the characters of these guys. There’s not an officer in this room that doesn’t have character. When they run into a citizen on the street they are always great people, no matter what the situation.”

“It has been my pleasure during my career at the Fire Department to work on many occasions with all seven of these gentlemen and the rest of the force,” Selectman Mike Runyan said. “It is always a pleasure and a privilege watching the men and women of our police department and to see how professional they are.  

Selectman Jim Tigges, also a member of the Burlington Police Department, commended the promoted members for both engaging in training themselves and working to bring training programs to the department.

Selectman Bob Hogan, who formerly worked for the town as the Director of Veterans Affairs, said he always thought it an honor to work with the police department.

“Thank you for all the work you do, you make us look good,” he said. “I’m proud to be a resident of this town because of what you do.”

Photo, from left: Sergeant Peter Abaskharoun, Sergeant Thomas Carlson, Sergeant Bernard Schipelliti, Captain Robert Kirchner, Lieutenant Daniel Hanafin, Lieutenant Timothy McDonough and Lieutenant Kevin Cooney.

 


 

 
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