Hanavan bows out with fanfare

Outgoing Tisbury Police Chief Daniel Hanavan received citations from state Rep. Dylan Fernandes and state Sen. Julian Cyr at a ceremony Friday. - Rich Saltzberg

Tisbury and state officials gathered in the Tisbury Police Station Friday afternoon to honor outgoing Police Chief Dan Hanavan. Harbormaster John Crocker, town administrator Jay Grande, ambulance coordinator Tracy Jones, Fire Chief John Schilling, selectman Melinda Loberg, selectmen chairman Tristan Israel, and Lt. Eerik Meisner joined State Rep. Dylan Fernandes and State Sen. Julian Cyr in lauding Hanavan.

“I think you’ve left the police department in a stronger position than when you entered into your role as police chief,” Grande said.

“We’re so appreciative of your service on the Vineyard; we wanted to make sure it was recognized on that state level as well,” said Fernandes, presenting Hanavan with a House citation. “We think it’s an honor that’s incredibly deserved.”

Fernandes presented Hanavan with a certificate signed by himself and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

“We are the oldest continually serving democratically elected legislative body in the world,” Cyr said. “So these citations go into that posterity.”

Like Fernandes, Cyr thanked Hanavan for 30 years of police service. He presented a certificate signed by himself and Senate President Karen Spilka.

“Dan’s evenhanded, gentle but firm style really fit the bill, and you really led us out of a period of darkness per se, and into the light,” Israel said. Israel presented Hanavan with a commemorative glass plaque etched with stars and stripes.



  1. Paul, respectfully submitted, I think you have it backwards. It is not the town which makes law enforcement in Tisbury tough, but the TPD who have made the town tough. The ‘evangelical’ attitude towards law enforcement and near anarchic relations within the force, have combined to give the citizens a true “us versus them” attitude. Sure, there are the blind citizens who will automatically support anything they do, too distant from the average interactions to believe how cynical they have become. Recent news stories in this newspaper support my point.
    Interestingly, this is not an image associated with your own legacy in Edgatown. Respect towards the citizens begets respect from them. Professionalism clearly worked for Edgartown.
    While Chief Hanavan is a very personable man, he also tolerated the degradation of the dept. into a record series of union grievances, MCAD complaints, destroyed police equipment, arbitrarily fired citizen employees and attendant lawsuits, embarrassing series of misconduct stories by officers. It is too bad Police forces were not run like sports teams, where we could trade in the off season.
    While I wish Chief Hanavan peace in retirement, I do hope under new leadership the department can find its way back to the respect it once had.

    • James. With all due respect. I’ve lived it from Chief Maciel to the present. Please respect my experience and prospective.

  2. Mr. Kozak, Dan ‘inherited’ the employees and its not like a private business where you can terminate employees at will. They are protected by unions, and its nearly impossible to terminate someone without a long protracted process and legal wrangling by both sides. There are ‘problem’ officers in many departments. Ask any Island law enforcement officer and the answer is the same. NOBODY wants to work in Tisbury. Its been that way forever. Tisbury has historically had a turnover where they lose competent officers to other towns. Many have taken pay cuts and lose seniority in order to get the heck out of Tisbury. Why? Because historically the elected politicians in their role as selectmen (over the years) have meddled with the department and NOT allowed whomever was Chief to do their job. Specifically over-ruling former Chief’s with respect to promotions that led to expensive lawsuits. That’s why there is a revolving door of Chief’s in that town who come here from Off island. They were fortunate to have Dan there for as long as they did. Bets of luck to you in your retirement Dan.

Comments are closed.