Lt. John Walcek named acting Wareham police chief

May 15, 2018
Lt. John Walcek

It’s official: Lt. John Walcek is Wareham’s acting police chief.

Selectmen approved the appointment quickly on Tuesday. Last week, board members announced that Walcek would take over for retiring Chief Kevin Walsh. Walcek was not present for Tuesday’s vote.

He is a longtime member of the department and has served as the town’s emergency management director. In 2013, Walcek was awarded the Massachusetts Emergency Manager of the Year Award by the Northeast States Emergency Consortium.

Walsh had been on leave for an unspecified reason since late March.

Last week, Town Administrator Derek Sullivan said Walsh has reached his maximum retirement benefits and “made a family decision to retire.”

Walsh became the town’s top cop in January of 2015. A lifelong Wareham resident, he has served on the department since the 1980s.

He began his career as a seasonal officer and moved up through the roster, achieving the rank of lieutenant in the summer of 2010. Walsh stepped in as interim police chief in November of 2013, after former chief Richard Stanley announced his retirement.

Sullivan said details of the search for a new chief haven’t been worked out yet.

Comments (12)
Posted by: Curiouscat | May 15, 2018 21:24

Why need to search any further?  I don't think you find a finer person to take over this position.

Posted by: totellthetruth | May 15, 2018 21:55

"DITTO" to what Curioscat said!

Posted by: Rjnjr09 | May 16, 2018 07:45

For sure one of the best officers in town. I would certainly stand behind him becoming the full time chief. His professionalism and care for the citizens of this town is incredible and truly an excellent candidate.   Best of luck Chief!  Safe and Well Wishes!

Posted by: Phredzzz | May 16, 2018 16:49

Hopefully he will do a little better staffing the Dispatcher phone-line.

Over the last year, here are examples of our personal experience with phone calls to the Police asking for some assistance.

1. Hello: Wareham Police. Me: can you help us, we have some 4-wheelers terrorizing our neighborhood. Dispatcher: What do you want us to do? We couldn't catch them even if we wanted to! Me: It would be nice if you would give it a try anyway. The Police never showed up.

2. Hello, Wareham Police. Me: We have a sick person in the house who needs his rest, which is almost impossible with the Noisy Dirt-bikes illegally racing around our neighborhood. Can you help us with this problem? Dispatcher: It was around Christmas and she thought she would be funny by saying; Merry Christmas Scrooge to you. They are only having a little fun because the weather is so nice, what's your real Beef? Our Beef was that Dirt-bikes were illegally racing around our neighborhood and we were hoping for some assistance resolving this issue. The Police showed up and talked with the hoodlums for about 20 minutes. Less than 5 minutes after the Police drove away, the Dirt-bikes were back racing around the neighborhood.

Recently: Hello, Wareham Police. Me: Can you help us? We have some Dirt-bikers terrorizing our neighborhood. When I went out and asked them to move on to somewhere else, they said they were not going to and if I called the Police on them, they knew where our House is and they are going to come by with their Buddy Bikers and Tear apart our Yard with their Bikes. Dispatcher: Well at least you know who they are, so you can go after them if they destroy your property. Me: not exactly the response we were looking foe, but at least he sent two squad-cars. The Female officer who responded was terrific and she said those hoodlums would stop threatening us after she goes and has a talk with them. So-far, so-good and we hope the Lady Officer gets the next promotion. She is willing and able to do the job that a Police Officer is paid to do. We need more Police just like her and maybe clean house by firing a few of the pretend Police who are just sucking a paycheck from the taxpayers.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 16, 2018 18:07

Phredzzz- you have a way of explaining such that I could picture it.  We had a similar response when calling the police to report a dirtbike aggressively tailgating us in our car on a main road.


By no means am I condoning or defending these hoodlems.  They shouldn't repeatedly do that in your neighborhood.  It is rude,  wrong, and illegal.  However,   there is a lot to the problem.  Respectful ATV riders are not automatically criminals!  Unfortunately nearly every possible place in the state has been taken away for many unreasonable reasons.  This type of riding has been building up over time.  Again, I'm not condoning or defending, but   if they had a place to ride,  it wouldn't have come to this.


The last straw is a new gate on Agawam Road off Glen Charlie at Maple Park.  A vast playground far far from anyone's home has been gated off.  Hundreds of dirtbikes, quads, etc could go there and not bother a soul.  Not to mention hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and many other non-motorized fun.  All is gated off!

Posted by: Warehamlifer | May 16, 2018 20:18

Good luck John you have my vote,it's a good feeling knowing that the acting chief is from the town that he wishes to protect & serve.

Posted by: 181mph | May 17, 2018 13:13

i called BS on Phredzzz previous posts about the dispatcher calls, and i still stand by that same BS, i think Phredzzz should get the recordings of said calls,, i believe in any town, that if a dispatcher replied to an incoming call like that, the dispatcher would have been fired,, show us the proof

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 17, 2018 13:42

181 - I can attest to the claim.  Based on my experience, the dispatchers are frustrated and probably overwhelmed with dirtbike calls.  I didn't sense malice or disrespect in their responses...just honesty.  I remember the dirtbike behind my wife's car.  The call was made on the cell phone while Evel Knievel was in the rear view mirror.  The dispatcher asked for a description of the bike. He was so close that the bike was invisible in the mirror, so a description was not possible.  The dispatcher quickly dismissed the call, saying "if you can't describe the dirt bike, we can't help you".  Then said "if we send an officer, the dirt bike will be gone by the time we get there" we can't help you.  Evel soon veered off and disappeared.  The dispatcher was right in a way...but left a bad taste.  It's like the police are admitting that they can't do anything, so they're not even going to try.

Posted by: Phredzzz | May 17, 2018 14:55

Thanks WarehamBTS. You help to give this issue some validity while others condemn and/or accuse myself of BS. Not sure why the Naysayer is so Positive that the Dispatcher issue is not real unless the Naysayer has a family Relative who works as a dispatcher. The Naysayer also is asking me to produce proof by obtaining Recordings. If it is so easy to obtain those Recordings and the Naysayer is so positive that I am making up a Story, then my response to that individual is; GO RIGHT AHEAD and get the Recordings and therefore you can prove that I am NOT telling the truth. Otherwise for anyone to "call BS" on me is just a LOAD of BS unto itself!!!

Posted by: cranky pants | May 17, 2018 17:40

In regards to the Agawam road gate..

Any idea who put that gate up ? I always thought that Agawam road was a public road... At least that's the argument that Wareham threw at Plymouth back in the late 80's, early 90's when Plymouth tried to gate it off on the fawn pond side. It was considered a fire road, non-maintained but travel at will.

How are we to access the Wareham Land Trust property or the 370 plus acres that Mass wildlife recently acquired out there now, walk or bike ?

You guys are right though, thanks to the smarter people Myles Standish banned dirt bikes yet they allow horses. There are trails being taken away daily and there's nowhere for the riders to go. People spend a pretty penny on the machines and gear, then there's nowhere to enjoy them. I'm not trying to post argument that they belong on the streets, you can thank inner city folk, and YouTube for that. Most likely that's where these bicycle bandits ( kids ) are getting the idea to block traffic, call people derogatory names and ride irresponsibly.

You could say that there is one place to ride, the dirt bike tack out behind the old Benny's, but that's not catering to those of us who actually enjoy being on a trail, in the woods and away from civilization.


Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 17, 2018 18:56

Cranky- Maple Park has admitted being responsible for the gate.  We have always known Agawam Road to be a public way so we have no idea how they can legally put a gate there.  The only thing is a claim that it is under repair on the sign on the gate.  I doubt that.  The gate has been there since the winter.  There is that other way in up North at the Plymouth Fawn Pond end.  Plus I found a road that cuts over to Agawam Road from Shang Ra La on Google Earth.  I think it's at the end of Hideaway or Restful and leads over a dam.  Not sure how accessible it is.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 17, 2018 22:03

PHREDZZ- yeah, don't take it too personal  and get upset  about 181.  He or she likes      to rile things up on here by going after individual commenters.


I have two small dirtbikes for my kids (and me...who am I They are stored with keys removed and the rear wheels locked to the frames with a chain.  This prevents theft.  It is also to prevents anything stupid, dangerous, or inconsiderate from happening.  I trust mine.  But there's friends, friends of friends, and peer pressure that leads to the things that give dirtbikes a bad rap.  Things like what you described happens around your neighborhood.  That would drive me crazy .

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