Framingham deputy named Ashland chief September 6, 2013
Norman Miller 508-626-3823 Metrowest Daily News

ASHLAND -- Newly hired Ashland Police Chief Craig Davis said he has been aware of the problems that have plagued the department in the past year, but said it is time for the department to move forward.

Davis, a 29-year veteran of the Framingham Police Department where he served as deputy chief, was named the new police chief on Friday by Ashland Town Manager Anthony Schiavi.

"I know some of the issues that are going on there and I know the challenges," said Davis. "I realized what happened in the past has happened and we need to move forward.

"There are still issues that are lingering and there are still issues that are ongoing," continued Davis. "Most of our efforts will be with forward momentum in mind and I think anything other than that would be counterproductive and not in the best interest of the department and the community."

Many of those issues involve various lawsuits filed by current and former members of the Ashland Police Department. The Middlesex District Attorney's office is also still investigating a fatal police-involved shooting this summer.

Davis beat out New York City Lt. Richard Rudolph, the other finalist, for the department's top spot. Schiavi said Davis rose to the top of the candidate pool due to his skills in important areas.

"He brings great leadership," said Schiavi. "He had a lot of experience building partnerships within the law enforcement community and within community groups."

Davis' experience with the accreditation process was also appealing as the department is currently seeking accreditation, the town manager said.

With the department undergoing a significant rebuilding, Schiavi said Davis will bring leadership and stability to the department.

"I think that long-term stability is so important in keeping with the department moving in a positive direction," said Schiavi. "He has the skills to move the department forward."

The appointment is pending contract negotiations and a background check. Schiavi said he hopes that Davis could start within 30 days.

Ashland Police Officer Kevin Piers, vice president of the Ashland Police Association, said the officers are looking forward to working with Davis.

"We're definitely excited to move forward," said Piers. "Chief Davis is very qualified. It's good to have long-range stability we can count on."

Ashland Selectmen Vice Chairman Joseph Magnani Jr. described Davis' hiring as a "win-win situation" for the town and the police department.

"Deputy Chief Davis will do a great job as the chief in Ashland," said Magnani. "Everything he does will only enhance the department. His credentials were phenomenal."

Davis said he does not know a lot of the Ashland officers and is looking forward to working with them and getting to know the departments and strengths and weaknesses so they can move forward.

"I hear a lot of good things about the men and women in the department," said Davis. "They want to start moving forward. They welcome the dawn of a new era. These are good challenges and we'll meet those challenges together as an agency and a community and create a great department."

Davis replaces Scott Rohmer, who was removed from the position earlier this year by Schiavi.

Framingham's Davis one of 2 finalists for Ashland police chief August 23, 2013
Joe O'Connell 508-626-3957 Metrowest Daily News

ASHLAND -- A Framingham deputy police chief and a commanding officer of the NYPD's detective squad are the finalists for Ashland's open police chief position.

Framingham Deputy Chief Craig Davis and New York City Police Lt. Richard Rudolph will be interviewed in public Sept. 5 as the two finalists to head Ashland's Police Department, Town Manager Anthony Schiavi announced Thursday.

Both men participated Monday in an assessment center with two other candidates, where they were evaluated by BadgeQuest, the search consultant, on criteria such as communication, service orientation, decision making, team building and management of subordinates.

"These two candidates came out on top," Schiavi said of Rudolph and Davis.

BadgeQuest received 41 applications.

Davis started working with the Framingham Police Department in 1985, according to his resume, and was promoted to deputy chief in 2001. In his role he oversees the daily activity of all department personnel and is the commander of the department's SWAT Team. He also created and implemented the Framingham Jail Diversion Program.

Rudolph has served with the NYPD for more than 22 years and has been with the detective squad since 2006. According to his resume he has led or worked on more than 38,000 investigations since 2002 and is involved in major crime investigations, including murder and robbery.

This is not the first time Davis and Rudolph have been finalists for the same police chief job. Last fall, they were finalists for Braintree police chief, along with Russell Jenkins, a deputy chief in Braintree. Jenkins was ultimately promoted.

The Ashland Police Department has not had a permanent police chief since April, when Scott Rohmer was put on paid administrative leave following a contentious time for the force. After putting Rohmer on leave, Schiavi named Stephen Doherty as interim chief.

Davis and Rudolph will participate in public interviews on Thursday, Sept. 5, starting at 7 p.m. at the WACA-TV studio on Butterfield Drive. Schiavi, who as town manager also serves as police commissioner, will conduct the interviews.

There are about 25 seats for audience members at the studio, and people interested in attending should send their names, home address and either an email address or phone number to Schiavi's office. A lottery will determine who gets a seat.

The deadline to submit a name in person to Town Hall, 101 Main St., is Thursday, Aug. 29, at 4 p.m. Residents can also email their information to, which must be done by noon on Friday, Aug. 30. Once the interviews are complete, Schiavi said he could make a decision as soon as Sept. 6. He plans to make a formal announcement at the selectmen's meeting on Sept. 11.

Joe O'Connell can be reached at 508-626-3957 or

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