Police Lt. Richard Noonan has been promoted to be deputy police chief, Town Manager William Keegan announced Wednesday.

Noonan, a veteran police officer for 21 years, had applied to be the police chief but Town Manager William Keegan in August picked Lt. Michael Grace based upon the recommendations of an assessment panel.

Noonan, who became a lieutenant in 2016, holds a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Northeastern University and bachelor’s degree in criminology from Bridgewater State College.

In the spring of 2019, he graduated from the FBI National Academy, a prestigious achievement in law enforcement.

The deputy police chief’s position has been vacant since Edward O’Leary retired in 2016.

The last deputy police chief was John Chandler.

“Rich was the perfect candidate for that role,” Keegan said.

Keegan said the position used to come under civil service but that was changed at a special town meeting in November.

He said that with Grace as police chief and Noonan as deputy chief, the town has two “highly qualified guys.”

He said choosing between them to become police chief was a difficult decision.

Throughout his career, Noonan has served in a variety of leadership roles including director of the field training officer program, training and standards lieutenant, Gillette Stadium operations commander and U.S. Department of Homeland Security liaison for the department.

Noonan was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2003.

He is also a trained drug recognition expert.

“Deputy Chief Noonan’s work ethic and commitment to the agency and to the residents of Foxboro is shown daily in his innovative thinking and program development within the department,” police said in a statement announcing the promotion.

“He has demonstrated his ability to mentor others and continues to develop and strengthen relationships within the community and with other public safety agencies. Deputy Chief Noonan looks forward to continuing to serve the community in his new position,” the statement said.

Noonan is a Foxboro High School graduate who was hired as a patrolman in 1999.

Prior to becoming a police officer, Noonan worked for the state Department of Corrections at Pondville Correctional Center in Norfolk.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.

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