Mark Newport

Interim Chief of Police

Welcome to Portsmouth! 

I began my tenure as a Portsmouth Police Officer in 1995, and in my 25th year, became the interim Chief of Police on October 5th. Portsmouth is known as a “mini-Boston” on the New Hampshire coast, and I am honored to bring my 25+ years of policing experience to the Chief’s Office as your Police Department continues to provide public safety for this wonderful city.

After starting my career in Patrol, I spent 9 years in the Investigative Division, starting as a Drug Liaison Detective and General Investigator.  I was then assigned to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Drug Task Force and moved to the highly specialized Drug Enforcement Administration’s High Intensity Drug Traffic Area Task Force (HIDTA).  I became a sergeant in 2008, and a patrol lieutenant in 2009, before moving to the position of Detective Lieutenant in 2013.  In 2018 I became Captain of Operations, and then Captain of the Administrative Division.  My career path has given me experience in all facets of police operations.

I am the recipient of two US Congressional Awards for Outstanding Performance of Duty, and two New Hampshire Congressional Awards for Outstanding Performance of Duty.  I have also been awarded an Outstanding Performance of Duty Commendation from the International Narcotics Association, a New England Narcotic Enforcement Commendation, and a number of Portsmouth Police Department Commendations and recognitions.

I am a graduate of the 2017 PERF Senior Management Institute for Police, the 2019 FBI LEEDA Executive Leadership Institute, and have been selected to attend the next FBI National Academy, as soon as classes resume.

I know this city well, and can say that policing Portsmouth provides a number of unique challenges.  Our daily service population comes in at around 65,000 people; we have well over 100 events annually which can draw as many as 100,000 people to a single event, a school system with six campuses and more than 2,600 students, a major university right up the road, “beach towns” to the north and south, an international airport and Tradeport, a vibrant hospitality industry, and the largest number per capita of liquor licenses in the state, at 150+.  In spite of the challenges we find ourselves navigating with COVID-19, Portsmouth is experiencing an explosion of residential and commercial development and the demand for police services that go along with such growth.

We are an Advanced CALEA-certified Police Department, with 68 full-time police officers, 14 auxiliary police officers and 21 non-sworn civilian employees including dispatchers, clerical staff and four part-time employees who work to provide 24/7 public safety for the City.  Three elected police commissioners provide policy oversight and an additional layer of accountability and access for the public.  The Department itself comprises Patrol, Investigations, Operations Support, Professional Standards, and Administration.

Along with our Police Commissioners, and in addition to the high standards required by an Advanced CALEA certification, the Portsmouth Police Department is currently engaged in public dialog and careful review of all facets of how the Portsmouth Police Department delivers public safety justly and impartially to all who live, work, and play here.

I invite you to cruise around our website and take a look at the Strategic Plan.  In doing so, you will see the plans and high standards of a talented, forward-thinking command staff, and a culture of innovative and energetic employees.  Please enjoy our city – it is our pleasure to serve you.