Patrick Cahillane sworn in as Hampshire sheriff



Published: 01-05-2017 12:34 AM

NORTHAMPTON — There’s a new sheriff in town.

At his swearing-in ceremony in Hampshire Superior Court on Wednesday, Patrick J. Cahillane, 58, took the oath of office, marking the beginning of his tenure as the chief administrator at the county jail and house of correction.

“We’re lucky here because we do work together, and our rules are to do what’s best for the community. ... Sometimes it means an individual goes to jail or house of correction, and sometimes it means someone goes to treatment, but it’s in the best interest of the overall community,” Cahillane told a courtroom packed with about 150 family members, friends and supporters.

“Nobody can do this alone and no agency can solve societal problems alone. It takes everyone working together to resolve these major problems, and I pledge the committed men and women who work for the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Department … will continue to do the work for the benefit of the community.”

Over a span of three decades, Cahillane ascended the ranks in the department, having worked virtually every major administrative post at the facility.

Most recently, Cahillane served as assistant superintendent and special sheriff, which effectively made him second-in-command to outgoing Sheriff Robert J. Garvey. 

Cahillane, a Democrat, beat out two opponents, Melissa Perry and Kavern Lewis, to secure his party’s nomination in September with a commanding 58 percent of the vote. He defeated Republican David Isakson, a part-time Hadley police officer since 2008 and president of the Hadley Police Association, when he captured more than three-quarters of votes cast.

Garvey announced last February that he would not seek re-election, having first been elected to the position in 1984.

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Cahillane earned a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Western New England University in Springfield and is also an American Jail Association-certified jail manager.

Throughout his campaign, the new sheriff said in candidate forums and in interviews with the Gazette that he wished to continue Garvey’s “progressive approach” in managing the jail as well as develop new educational and vocational programs for inmates.

Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan also offered remarks at the ceremony, highlighting Garvey’s service to the department.

“He’s touched our hearts and our minds about what corrections really means,” Sullivan said. “And the legacy of Bob Garvey will be many things, but for those that he served, it will be that they had a good father and a good steward when they came to him, and he did what we all ask of people in public service, to help others.”

Before the ceremony, Garvey and Cahillane took questions from reporters, reflecting on their experiences in running the jail side by side.

“I certainly enjoyed the relationship I had with staff and with the public in general,” Garvey said. “I think (it was) a great opportunity to work with people who are in a position in their lives that could use some assistance and overcome some of the problems that have brought them into the House of Correction. And certainly, it’s been a rewarding experience to work with them.”

Of his 32 years as sheriff, Garvey said he took the most pride in the staff he recruited at the jail and the various programs he had a hand in creating for inmates.

“I expect that the new sheriff will carry on in a very dignified way,” Garvey said. “He’s a super talented young man, and he certainly will do a wonderful job, and I give him all the support could possibly give anyone.”

Michael Majchrowicz can be reached at