Police And Fire Chiefs Receive Merit Pay Increases As Of Start FY ’24

Photo: James MacIsaac (left) and David DeStefano

Recently, the Belmont Select Board approved merit pay increases for Belmont’s public safety department leaders. Each increase has an effective start date of July 1, 2023.

Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac received a 3 percent bump to his salary as part of his yearly review. The Board scored MacIsaac with an overall score of 4.93 on a scale of 0 to 5, with Board Chair Roy Epstein saying that “he’s a model of a modern police chief bringing a unique balance of experience, calmness, and humor, and to a host of challenges of management issues.”

Board Vice Chair Elizabeth Dionne noted MacIsaac’s “strength in public communication, leadership and tackling difficult issues head-on and is clearly concerned about the well-being of the department including the morale and adequate staffing while delivering effective and proactive public safety for the town.”

Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac

“When you hear stories about police departments everywhere in which things go wrong. I think consistently Chief MacIsaac has demonstrated an ability to take on difficult situations and have a positive outcome and avoid trouble,” said Epstein.

“Overall, Chief MacIsaac is a tremendous asset, and he looks forward to serving the community for many years,” he said.

MacIsaac’s annual salary is currently $210,642.79.

Belmont Fire Chief David DeStefano saw his pay increase by 2.5 percent to $168,642.79.

“I could not be more happy with the fire chief and his performance,” said Town Administrator Patrice Garvin of DeStefano’s tenure. “I think the department’s morale has gone up tremendously… and he’s building a great team. He’s instituted ways to make the department more visible in terms of promotions … and he’s always coming up with creative ways to get the fire department more visible into the community.”

Belmont Fire Chief David DeStefano

After Extraordinary Year, Belmont Awards Police Chief With Extension, Pay Raise

Photo: James MacIsaac, Belmont Police Chief

A pandemic, nationwide civil rights protests and the challenges brought on by the position itself. The past year put most police chief under the spotlight. And according to town officials, Chief James MacIsaac took on the challenge and shined.

At its Monday night meeting, Aug. 16, the Belmont Select Board unanimously approved a merit increase of one and a half percent for MacIsaac retroactive to July 1, 2021 and agreed to extend his contract by two years with a new expiration date of Dec. 31, 2024. The increase brings his “all-in” salary to $191,354.91, according to Belmont Human Resources Director Shawna Healey.

Belmont Town Administrator Patrice Garvin, who conducts the performance review of police chiefs, said unlike his previous review, “I had to look at it through a different lens given the abnormality of COVID and the challenges that that brought to the position.”

Shortly after MacIsaac started on January 2020, COVID hit, followed a couple months after, the country and police forces was dealing with the murder of George Floyd, all the while running a department from a temporary location while coordinating the move into the new Police Headquarters, noted Garvin.

“The challenges [MacIsaac] was facing in last year was challenges … former police chiefs 10 to 15 years to experience,” said Garvin. Despite working in that “whirlwind” as a first year police chief, “[MacIsaac] performed beyond expectation at an exemplary level, using the strengths that he has, given his personality and his years of experience with the force as the assistant chief.”

“He was able to … lead the community through all those challenges and my review [of his] last year’s performance was the highest it could be for an employee,” said Garvin, rating his performance a five.

“Thank you, Chief. I’m happy to extend you an additional two years,” said Select Board Chair Adam Dash. “Great work and I look forward to working with you further.”

Apply for the Police Chief Screening Committee


The Belmont Board of Selectmen has recently created the Police Chief Screening Committee to assist in the search for Belmont’s next Police Chief.. 

The Board is looking for two residents with a variety of talents and backgrounds who are willing to make the commitment to serve on this committee.  This committee will consist of nine voting members.

Residents who are interested in serving are invited to apply using the application specific to this particular committee which can be located on the Town website:  https://www.belmont-ma.gov/sites/belmontma/files/uploads/citizen_application.pdf

If you have any questions related to this committee or the appointment process, please contact Jessica Porter, Human Resources Director, at 617-993-2740 or jporter@belmont-ma.gov In order to be considered for one of the two available seats, applications must be returned to Porter no later than Friday, May 31.