Mark Lewis sworn in as acting Cambridge Chief of Police

CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge police officer Mark K. Lewis took the oath of office again on May 5, and will be assuming the role of acting police chief for this city, following the retirement of Chief Daniel Dvorak last month.

The role will be “acting police chief” because Chief Lewis is scheduled to retire in January of 2018, after 30 years in service to the county and the city of Cambridge.

“I plan to officially retire, after 30 years’” he told The Banner. “I started with the department in 1988. I first worked for the state in 1987 for the Department of Corrections. I spent almost a year there, then I came here. And I love it here — this is a great place to work.”

In the past 30 years Chief Lewis had risen to the rank of Major and Deputy Chief before assuming the Chief position last week. His plans are to continue on the working path the department has established, and not make any major changes for the remainder of the year.

“We’re going to maintain this police department, we’re going to run it just as if Chief Dvorak was here,” Chief Lewis told The Banner. “We’re going to keep it professional. We’re going to continue with the community policing efforts, and I expect good things to result.”

On assuming the role of Chief in his last year of service, Chief Lewis was particularly upbeat. “I appreciate the opportunity the mayor and council have given me,” he said. “I’ll be finishing my career on top. It’s a great way to go out!”

Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley hosted the department and the family of Chief Lewis, plus members of the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Department and the Hurlock Police Department, in the briefing room of the Public Safety Building on Washington Street. She greeted and introduced the new chief with enthusiasm and respect for a long-time civil servant in law enforcement.

“For the last 30 years,” said Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, “he has performed those duties with dignity and with a humbleness that is fitting to the task he is about to take on for the city of Cambridge.”

After administrating the oath of office, the mayor called for applause and declared, with her usual enthusiasm, “Yes, yes, stand up! Let’s make this a celebration!”

Mayor Stanley was positive and enthusiastic for the future of the Cambridge Police.

“We’ve been through a lot in the last two years. Chief Dvorak set up a very high bar, and I am confident that Chief Lewis will continue with that level if not take us to a higher level of policing. There’s lots going on in Cambridge. We have issues that we have to stay on top of and he is the man for that job. We have confidence in his ability and I’m just glad he accepted the challenge. He is not a man who would walk away from a challenge, and I’m glad he’s the man I knew he would be for us.

“Chief Lewis is subject to the “DROP” plan (Deferred Retirement Option Program)—after so many years of policing, you MUST retire. It’s not like we’re unhappy, or unsatisfied or not grateful for what he’s done for us in the past 30 years, but this was a system that was set up long, long, long before I got here, and he probably knew about it when he was a very young probationary police officer back in 1987. And now here we are. So the search will commence, but we have a little time between now and January to find the right candidate.”

When asked if Chief Lewis would be able to retire, and then re-apply for the position in 45 days, similar to other state employees (and much like the mayor herself had to do before the 2016 election), she replied, “I am really not sure if that applies to police work here, but we will research it. And if he is able to, and if he is interested, I would want him to consider it at least. But I can’t speak to the future other than to say we’ll look into it. I hope he makes that decision if he is going to be eligible.”

Cambridge’s new police chief Mark Lewis poses with his family at the swearing-in ceremony on Friday, May 5. Pictured are sister Wendy Gutermuth, neice Katie Gutermuth, brother Matthew, wife Carla, Chief Lewis, son Tyler, and brothers John and Randy.

Chief Lewis was joined by his wife Carla, and son Tyler for the swearing in, as well as his brothers John, Randy, and Matthew, and sister Wendy Gutermuth and niece Katie Gutermuth.

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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