Outgoing Kittery Police Chief James Soucy is seen in a Portsmouth Herald file photo. Credit: Courtesy of the Portsmouth Herald

KITTERY, Maine — Police Chief James Soucy has resigned from his post and will serve his last day on the job Friday.

Town Manager Kendra Amaral said the 26-year law enforcement veteran handed in his resignation two weeks ago, and “needs to leave for personal family reasons.”

Soucy was sworn in as police chief in May 2016.

Before arriving in Kittery, Soucy’s law enforcement career began in Maryland in 1989 as a state trooper and flight paramedic, and eventually led him to Manchester, New Hampshire. In 1992, he became a patrol officer in Manchester and remained in the department until his move to Kittery. While a sergeant, he served as SWAT team leader and assistant SWAT commander. As a lieutenant, he was the patrol shift commander for New Hampshire’s most populated city. He also served as captain, commander of community policing, patrol division and investigative division.

In 2016, Soucy was chosen out of 56 applicants for the Kittery post.

“I was certainly honored to be the chief of police in Kittery, such a fine town and organization,” Soucy said when reached for comment Thursday. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the over two years at the head of this agency, working with such great men and women. It’s been a pleasure.”

He added, “I’m proud of all our accomplishments over the last two years, especially with our community connections and high visibility, and feel I’ve left the department a little better off than when I started.”

Soucy said he expects the department’s transition will be smooth, as they “already have a lot of the key players in place.” He recognized the “talented group of public officials all working towards a common goal of making Kittery great.”

Amaral said during Soucy’s time with Kittery, he strengthened community policing efforts and implemented well-received programs such as National Night Out and Coffee With a Cop. He also bolstered relationships with Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other public safety partners, she said.

“We certainly wish him well and appreciate his service to Kittery,” Amaral said. “We’ll move forward with getting that position filled as quickly as possible because I know how important it is to have leadership at the Police Department.”

Amaral said she expects to meet Friday with staff and appoint an interim police chief. Then, the town will begin the process to search for a permanent chief, whom Amaral will appoint.

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