By SCOTT JACKSON
Two Quincy police officers with a combined 45 years of experience received promotions during a recent City Hall ceremony.
Mark Foley was promoted to the lieutenant and Paul Coughlin to the rank of sergeant the morning of Sept. 13 inside the James R. McIntyre Government Center. Dozens of family members and fellow officers past and present filled the Great Hall for the ceremony.
City Clerk Nicole Crispo swore the two officers in and then family members pinned each with his new badge. Foley’s daughter Shannon pinned him with his new lieutenant’s badge and then Coughlin’s uncle Leo Coppens, a retired Quincy police detective who served with the department for more than 30 years, pinned him with the sergeant’s badge.
Foley joined the department in 1988. He served three years on patrol, three years in special operations and then 11 years in the drug control unit before he was promoted to sergeant in 2005. He had most recently been the shift supervisor for the 4 p.m. to midnight shift. Foley will be assigned to one of the night shifts as a lieutenant.
Police Chief Paul Keenan said Foley is well respected by his fellow officers.
“Mark has been around for a lot of years. He’s done an awful lot of things in the Quincy Police Department – motorcycles, he was an outstanding drug officer for a number of years. He is a well-respected sergeant by not only the people that work for him, but the people that work with him,” Keenan said.
“Mark, I can honestly say, is never at a loss for words and he never minces words. You always know what he is thinking, which is kind of refreshing.”
Coughlin became a Boston police officer in 2004 and then joined the Quincy Police Department in 2012. He had most recently been assigned to the traffic division and, as sergeant, will work the midnight shift.
Keenan said Coughlin has been an asset to the department since he transferred from Boston.
“Paul has been on for a few years,” the chief said. “Our gain was Boston’s loss – he transferred over from Boston and has been a great asset for the department both in patrol and in traffic.”
Foley and Coughlin both worked hard to receive their promotions, Keenan said.
“I know how hard these officers have to study to get where they are,” he said. “We’re probably one of the most difficult departments in the commonwealth to get promoted in because we’ve got such an intelligent, enlightened group of men and women who take these tests and study.”
The newly promoted officers will bring a new perspective and new energy to the table, he added.
“It’s always nice to bring a new perspective to the Quincy Police Department,” the chief said.
“Every time we get a new promotion, they bring new ideas to the table and new energy to the table.”
Mayor Thomas Koch thanked the department’s officers for their service to the city on a daily basis.
“We’re living in very dangerous times. I remind people we are not only proud of our veterans and what they do defending us all across the world, fighting for freedom and defending the values that are important to us, but you people do it each and every day on the front lines responding to the needs of all the community,” Koch said.
“There are simple little things, but there are also some very dangerous and complicated issues you deal with each and every day. I’m cognizant of that and on behalf the city I am grateful for that. To our department, I say thank you for all you do each and every day.”
Foley and Coughlin, the mayor added, are both well respected by their colleagues in the department.
“I know today is a great day for both of them individually and their families. I know you worked hard. You both have good names and good reputations in the department. I know you are well-respected by your peers,” Koch said.