About Manchester-by-the-Sea

The municipality of Manchester, Massachusetts was incorporated by an act of the Great and General Court (legislature) of the Commonwealth in 1645. Most recently, by means of petition to the Legislature, approval was granted to officially change its name to Manchester-by-the-Sea. Thus, the name the Town was commonly known as for many decades became legal some 344 years after its incorporation.

Manchester-by-the-Sea is located in what is traditionally known as the “North Shore”, approximately 30 miles from the City of Boston, within the county of Essex. Situated with a four community regional known as “Cape Ann” the Town is bordered by the communities of Beverly, Hamilton, Wenham, Essex and Gloucester. Manchester-by-the-Sea is a residential seashore community situated on the Atlantic Ocean encompassing approximately 8 square miles with approximately 12.8 miles of tidal shore line providing beaches, a perfect yachting haven, and commercial fishing. The Town is serviced by two state highways: a primary highway route 128 and a scenic highway route 127. The Town is also serviced by a commuter rail branch connecting directly to the City of Boston. The Town’s population remains at a relative constant of just below 6,000.

The Town maintains a full service government and related services including full-time police and fire departments, K-12 school system, full-time public works, water and sewer and cemetery departments. The Town is governed by a five-person Board of Selectmen with a strong Town Administrator. The Town maintains the traditional New England style “open” Town meeting which convenes annually.

The Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Department is under the jurisdiction of the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator. The Police Department is the only agency in the Town falling under the authority of Chapter 31 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth, with appointments and promotions being made in accordance with standards promulgated by the Human Resource Division of the State Civil Service Commission.

Our police department recognizes that, as a smaller agency, we may not experience all the serious crime that our larger brothers encounter, but the crimes our citizens do suffer, and the problems we endure, are just as important on a local basis. In Manchester-by-the-Sea our officers spend in excess of 60% of their time delivering social and community services. The philosophy established for the Department consists of acknowledging what kind of services our citizens expect and delivery of those services to the best of our ability and within budgetary constraints.