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After Long Night: No New Chief

The roll call of Fairfield police chiefs still ends with the man whose retirement takes effect at the end of the week.

After four hours of interviews and some 90 minutes of deliberation – all behind closed doors – at police headquarters Monday night, the Fairfield Police Commission could not agree on a successor to David Peck. “No votes have been taken and no recommendation has been made at this time,” said Police Commission Chairman Donald Kleber, when the seven-member group entered a brief public session shortly after 11:15 p.m.

The commission interviewed three candidates, all from within the department, for the position: Deputy Chief Gary MacNamara and two captains, Chris Lyddy and Don Smith. MacNamara is believed to be the frontrunner.

Town Attorney Richard Saxl, who sat in on the interviews, said, “I was very impressed with the caliber of each of the candidates.” There will be more deliberations at the commission’s next meeting, which has not yet been scheduled, he added.

Peck is the eighth chief in the 80-year history of the department. Arthur J. Bennett was the first, heading up a seven-man police force from its founding on Aug. 28, 1930 to 1943. His successors, according to the portraits that adorn the wall of the second-floor waiting room: James Kranyik (1943-61), Philip Ganser (1961-72), Anthony Mastronardi (1972-80), William Mockalis (1980-91), Ronald Sullivan (1991-97), Joseph Sambrook (1997-06) and Peck, who will end his 31-year career on the force at the end of the month.

Once the commission agrees on a candidate, the recommendation will be passed along to First Selectman Ken Flatto for approval.

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