New Police Chief Walter Correia says job is ‘an honor and a privilege’

Apr 20, 2021

Out with the old guard and in with the new: Wareham officially has its next chief of police. 

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved hiring Walter Correia — who has served in the department for more than 25 years, most recently as a lieutenant — to replace former Chief John Walcek, who retired April 17.

During the April 20 Selectmen’s meeting, Town Administrator Derek Sullivan told the board that he’s known Correia for about a decade. He said it’s been an honor to serve Wareham alongside Correia. 

“Not only is he brilliant in what he’s looking forward to doing for the department, but he’s one of the last few gentlemen that I actually know,” Sullivan said, adding that he looked forward to continuing to work with Correia. “I’m really happy to be a part of this and look forward to the board ratifying this and making him ‘Chief Correia.’ I couldn’t be prouder.”

Correia has been with the department since 1994. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2010, before later being promoted to lieutenant. 

Correia was in attendance at the virtual meeting, but he spoke only briefly.

“It’s an honor and a privilege,” he said. “Thank you very much.”

Correia had the support of every selectman.

“I love this guy. I’ve known him for a long, long, long time,” said Selectman Patrick Tropeano. “I don’t know how he does it, but he always manages to stay calm in every situation — which I never do.”

Selectman Judith Whiteside welcomed Correia to the new position, and Selectman Alan Slavin said he was happy Correia was selected. 

Before asking for a motion to hire Correia, Selectman Peter Teitelbaum also shared some praise. “[Walter] has an excellent disposition,” he said. “He has the respect of his subordinates in the police department. He’s always done an exemplary job.”

As the board moved on to other business, Teitelbaum bid Correia goodnight: “Congratulations, Chief.”

April 21 declared ‘John Walcek Day’

During the meeting, the Selectmen also read a proclamation, recognizing retired Police Chief John Walcek for his 33 years of service to the town — both as a member and leader of the Wareham Police Department and as a Wareham firefighter.

Teitelbaum read from the proclamation: “John’s service as a police officer and police chief is marked by his professional, courteous and extreme dedication to his work and to the public.”

Walcek worked his final shift as Wareham’s chief of police on Saturday, April 17, and to honor Walcek’s service, the board set aside a day in his honor. 

“In recognition of the above facts,” Teitelbaum said, continuing to read the proclamation, “the Board of Selectmen congratulate Police Chief John Walcek for his decades of exemplary service to the town and hereby proclaim April 21, 2021, as John Walcek day.”

Walcek, who was also at the virtual meeting, thanked the board for their recognition and for their continued support while he was chief.

“It was an honor to serve Wareham,” Walcek said. “I mean that.”