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Dighton Police Chief Robert MacDonald retires following 43-year career



Photo courtesy of Dighton Police

DIGHTON – Following 43 years of service with the Dighton Police Department, Chief Robert MacDonald retired on Friday.

On Wednesday, Aug. 24, the Dighton Board of Selectmen recognized Chief MacDonald for his years of dedicated service to the Dighton Police Department and the Dighton community. He was presented with a Proclamation and Certificate of Recognition at the meeting.

“On behalf of the entire Dighton community, I would like to thank Chief MacDonald for his many years of dedicated, selfless service to the Dighton Police Department and the Town of Dighton,” Town Administrator Michael Mullen said. “Through his tireless work within the community, he has continued to push the town forward and build upon the professionalism and excellence of our police department. We wish him a very happy and healthy retirement.”

Chief MacDonald was born and raised in the Town of Dighton. After graduating from Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School, he then received a degree from Massasoit Community College. He went on to continue to live in Dighton where he and his wife, Mary, raised their children, Michael and Michele.

Chief MacDonald began his tenure with the Town of Dighton in 1979 as a part-time dispatcher and went on to be promoted to a part-time reserve Dighton police officer in 1980, after which he was appointed to full-time status in 1985.

He was promoted to Sergeant in 1989, became Acting Chief in 2003 and was appointed as Chief of Police in 2004.

Chief MacDonald led the effort alongside fellow committee members to build the new police station that broke ground in November 2017 and opened in February 2019.

During his tenure as Chief, the Dighton Police Department joined the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) to assist Dighton and surrounding communities with their incident response. He also implemented a D.A.R.E. program and a School Resource Officer program within the schools.

Chief Robert MacDonald has been an active member of his community as a coach for youth sports, a resource consultant for the Stormwater Committee and a Lions Club member. He has also donated time to traffic control during the Pan-Mass Challenge Jimmy Fund Annual bike ride as well as numerous Memorial Day Parades.

“It’s been a privilege of mine to lead the police department in the community I was raised in and have lived my entire life,” Chief MacDonald said. “Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside some wonderful people as we made the town the very best it could be for our community. I’m very pleased to see what the town and police department was able to accomplish throughout the years. It’s bittersweet to retire, but I am confident in Chief Cronin and the Dighton Police Department’s ability to continue to serve our community to the very best of its ability.”

Lt. Shawn Cronin has been appointed the next police chief. A swearing-in ceremony and badge pinning were held Wednesday night as part of the Dighton Board of Selectmen meeting.

“I’ve had the privilege of working alongside Chief MacDonald for the majority of my career, watching him successfully lead our department and learning from him as I went,” Chief Cronin said. “It’s an honor to take over as Chief of the Dighton Police Department upon Chief MacDonald’s retirement. I, alongside all members of the department, will greatly miss him and wish him the best in his retirement.”

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