Chesterfield Police Lt. Duane Chickering has been tapped to replace Chief Lester Fairbanks, who plans to retire later this month. (Domenic Poli/Reformer)
Chesterfield Police Lt. Duane Chickering has been tapped to replace Chief Lester Fairbanks, who plans to retire later this month. (Domenic Poli/Reformer)

CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- Lt. Duane Chickering is moving on up.

The Chesterfield Board of Selectmen voted a few weeks ago to name Chickering as the replacement for Police Chief Lester Fairbanks, who is set to retire on Aug. 18. Chickering told the Reformer he is honored to have been appointed to such an important position within his hometown.

"I'm excited for the next chapter and I couldn't ask for a better town," he said. "Chesterfield is amazing."

Chickering, who has agreed in principle to replace Fairbanks and now just needs to hammer out some contract details with the town, said he will take over as interim chief on Aug. 19, after he gets back from vacation.

Fairbanks said the lieutenant is a great choice to take over the reins.

Chickering, 44, told the Reformer he rejoined the Chesterfield Police Department in 2003, when he returned to New Hampshire. He got his first law enforcement job with the N.H. Marine Patrol in 1987 and two years later joined the Chesterfield and Hinsdale departments part-time. He said he was soon promoted by Chesterfield and went to the New Hampshire Police Academy in Concord. In 1992, he moved to the Keene Police Department for three years before working as a detective in the Special Problems Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department, even appearing on a few episodes of "LAPD: Life on the Beat."

Chickering left the city of angels with dreams of becoming a pilot for a company like American Airlines, but realized his heart was still in law enforcement after making flights for a different company.


Advertisement

He found his way back to Chesterfield, working under Fairbanks -- the same man he had met when he was just a wide-eyed teenager enrolled in the Hinsdale Police Explorers, a program aimed at helping young people determine if a career in law enforcement is right for them.

"I would stay as late as I could just so I could ride in the police cars with the officers (including Fairbanks, who worked in Hinsdale at the time)," Chickering said, adding that he helped direct traffic at Fourth of July events. He said he and Fairbanks are now close friends and have worked well together.

"I'm sorry to see him go. We've been friends forever and he's done 28 years here. But everyone deserves time to retire," he said. "And he knows that and he has helped me out the last few years to start learning the budgetary process and looking outside the box. So, it's going to be a nice transition."

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.