Lt. Patrick McMahon retiring after 3-decade career with Charlestown Police Department

Lt. Patrick McMahon retiring after 3-decade career with Charlestown Police Department

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CHARLESTOWN — After 30-plus years in law enforcement, nearly all of it as a full-time member of the Charlestown Police Department, Lt. Patrick McMahon is retiring.

The officer, who was the department’s second in command, announced his decision Monday. McMahon, 50, said that after a lengthy career in law enforcement, it was simply time to call it quits.

“I’ve reflected on a number of things; this is entirely a personal decision,” McMahon said in a phone interview Monday. “Thirty years is long enough. I had reached the max level I would be in terms of promotions and from my perspective, it was time.”

McMahon, out of high school, first served as a reserve officer for Narragansett, and then was hired by former Police Chief Michael Brady to join the Charlestown department in 1988. He became active in the police union and worked his way through the ranks.

His last day will be Tuesday. He will continue to serve as chief of EMS for the Charlestown Ambulance-Rescue Service, an unpaid volunteer position, and said he is looking forward to the opportunity to possibly expand his service to the community in that role.

As a result of his retirement, McMahon will also relinquish his role president of the local police union, a position he has held for 20 of the past 22 years. The union is in the process of electing its new board of officers, officials explained, and the timing of McMahon’s retirement will allow the union to adjust to as part of its annual nomination and election process.

McMahon is the second senior Charlestown officer to retire in the past two months. Detective Sgt. Ryan Gwaltney announced his decision in mid-September. Gwaltney was a 28-year member of the force and had also been hired under Brady.

Police Chief Jeffrey Allen confirmed Monday that the department had received notice of the lieutenant’s decision. “Lt. McMahon served the Town of Charlestown as a police officer for nearly 30 years and we wish him well in retirement,” Allen said in an email statement. 

Gwaltney and McMahon were placed on paid leave for separate matters before they decided to retire. Allen had said in September that the department placed Gwaltney on paid leave and had provided information to the Rhode Island State Police following the conviction of former Charlestown officer Evan Speck. Speck, of Westerly, was convicted on federal charges of steroid trafficking and money laundering on Aug. 18. 

The state police later confirmed there was never a criminal investigation into Gwaltney.

One week after Gwaltney’s suspension, McMahon was placed on leave pending the results of an internal investigation by the department. Officials said that investigation was unrelated to the Speck case.

As of Monday, McMahon said he had still not received any explanation as to why he was placed on leave or what the investigation was about. In any case, McMahon said his decision to retire had nothing to do with the investigation. He said that after reflecting on his career and Gwaltney’s retirement, he decided it was time to hang up his Charlestown police badge.

“When I reflect on 30 years, I am one of those fortunate to have never have been hurt and I have an opportunity to walk out on my own two feet,” he said. “I am the last of a generation. Those I had come on with and worked with are gone. It was just my time.”


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