Tisbury chief leaves post
Tisbury police Chief John Cashin worked his last day Wednesday. Three months short of the end of the chief's three-year contract, selectmen and Mr. Cashin agreed to part.
Selectmen appointed Tisbury Officer Daniel Hanavan interim chief on Tuesday. He is a former candidate for the job Mr. Cashin got. Mr. Cashin and the three Tisbury selectmen met Friday in executive session. The selectmen announced their decision not to renew Chief Cashin's contract, which expires on September 5, in a press release faxed to The Martha's Vineyard Times Tuesday.
The release, written by town administrator John Bugbee, explained that the selectmen and Chief Cashin mutually agreed that May 20 would be his last day on the job.
"I speak for the entire board when I say that we have nothing but the utmost respect for Mr. Cashin and the improvements he's made within the Tisbury Police Department," selectman Tristan Israel said, according to the press release. "His refreshing approach to community policing and dedication to law enforcement has been greatly appreciated. We thank him for his hard work and wish him nothing but the best in all his future endeavors."
Speculation over what was seen as Mr. Cashin's imminent departure followed a published interview last Thursday in which he blistered members of his own department and criticized selectmen for their lack of support and management interference ("Tisbury chief assails officers and selectmen").
Following their regular meeting Tuesday, selectmen Tristan Israel, Jeff Kristal, and Geoghan Coogan met in executive session with Officer Hanavan and appointed the veteran officer to the interim post. The appointment began at 5 pm Wednesday and is to last until October 12.
"Officer Hanavan came extremely close to becoming police chief in 2006 and is the logical choice to fill this position during this transitional period," chairman Israel said in the press release issued Wednesday morning. "As a member of the Tisbury Police Department, he has been the recipient of numerous commendations, and I know the board holds him in very high regard. I am confident in Mr. Hanavan's ability to serve as interim police chief."
Mr. Israel telephoned each member of the Tisbury Police Department Tuesday evening to tell them of Officer Hanavan's appointment before selectmen issued their press release. The selectmen also scheduled a meeting with the police department at 4 pm today to discuss the appointment.
In regard to the financial implications of ending Chief Cashin's contract before it expired, Mr. Bugbee said yesterday, "We're still negotiating the terms of the settlement."
As for compensating Officer Hanavan for his increased responsibilities, Mr. Bugbee added, "We're working through that as well, and I would guess it will be a similar agreement in nature to what was agreed upon between the town and Sgt. [Timothy] Stobie when he served in the same capacity."
Officer Hanavan, originally from Buffalo, N.Y., joined the Tisbury Police Department in 1989. A graduate of Syracuse University, he received a Master of Science degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University in Boston in 1987. Three years ago, Officer Hanavan competed with Mr. Cashin as a finalist for the police chief's position.