News, Police/Fire

Peabody appoints new fire chief

Jay Dowling has been selected to serve as Peabody's next fire chief. (Bob Roche)

PEABODY — Jay Dowling is set to serve as the city’s next fire chief, following the retirement of current Chief Joe Daly this summer, Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt Jr.’s office announced Tuesday.

Dowling began his career in the city’s fire department in 1996, rising through the ranks and becoming deputy chief in 2021 after stints as a lieutenant and a captain. A longtime member of the Peabody Fire Honor Guard, Dowling also serves as president of the Peabody Fire Department Relief Association.

“Jay Dowling brings over 25 years of experience as a member of the Peabody Fire Department to the job of chief,” Bettencourt said in a statement. “He demonstrated extraordinary leadership during his 17 years as captain and during these past two years as deputy chief. Our community is in good hands with Jay at the helm of the department.”

A graduate of Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, Dowling earned an associate degree in fire science from North Shore Community College and later a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Salem State University. He is certified by the Massachusetts Fire Academy in fire prevention, hazardous materials, and advanced fire investigation.

Bettencourt plans to submit Dowling’s appointment to the City Council on June 22, with a swearing-in ceremony set for June 29. Dowling will take over for Daly on July 1.

“I am looking forward to the work and responsibilities of being chief,” Dowling said. “It is a great honor to be able to lead the men and women of the Peabody Fire Department and to serve and protect the citizens of my hometown.”

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