Tisbury considers its policing issues
The Tisbury selectmen made plans this week to address police department issues and to define a process for hiring a new police chief.
The selectmen set a target date of mid-July for a report from consultant Robert Wasserman, who is reviewing police operations and management, and a late-summer date for making a decision on a hiring process.
Former Tisbury Police Chief John Cashin left the job May 20, three months short of the end of his three-year contract, under an arrangement the selectmen termed as a "mutual agreement."
Town administrator John Bugbee said Tuesday he would have the details of Mr. Cashin's settlement agreement available on Wednesday. But, in a follow-up phone call yesterday, Mr. Bugbee said he could not make those details public until the selectmen signed the agreement. One of the selectmen is off-Island.
In the meantime, Officer Daniel Hanavan, a 19-year veteran of the Tisbury Police Department, will serve as interim chief through October 12. The selectmen appointed him to the job immediately upon Chief Cashin's departure.
Mr. Bugbee also addressed the issue of additional compensation for Chief Hanavan, during the selectmen's Tuesday meeting.
Looking at what the town has done in similar circumstances in the past, Mr. Bugbee said Sgt. Timothy Stobie received a step increase amounting to $8.80 an hour when he served as acting chief, following Chief Ted Saulnier's retirement in 2006.
Although a step increase for Chief Hanavan currently would amount to an increase of $7.44 an hour, Mr. Bugbee said that on July 1, the new fiscal year rate will increase to $9.05 an hour, commensurate with what Mr. Stobie received. The selectmen approved the raise.
Last week, in a follow-up to plans announced on May 21, the selectmen signed an agreement with Mr. Wasserman, a West Tisbury resident and international security consultant, who will conduct an assessment of the Tisbury Police Department.
"We're going to give him a stipend of $2,500," Tisbury town administrator John Bugbee said last Friday. "The money is available and will come out of a line item in the selectmen's budget for consultants' fees."
The Tisbury selectmen have tapped Mr. Wasserman before. He is the chairman of the Strategic Policy Partnership, a group of public safety and public policy experts who assist police and government agencies with performance improvement and policy development issues.
In 2000, the Tisbury selectmen hired Mr. Wasserman to study problems in the town's police department. His 25-page Police Issue Assessment, commonly referred to as the "Wasserman report," was released in February 2001.