Chief Toomey reappointed
At their meeting last week, the West Tisbury selectmen reappointed Beth Toomey as chief of police for three more years, and signed a new contract with her which will run through February of 2009. The chief's contract is separate from the town classification and compensation plans, but Chief Toomey will receive the same wage adjustments as other town employees, which are voted by the taxpayers at annual town meetings each year (4 percent in FY07). The contract calls for no further salary increase. In 2005, Chief Toomey was paid $87,700.
Ms. Toomey has been chief of the West Tisbury police for 13 years. Although she has had inquiries from towns on the Cape and elsewhere, she told The Times that she has no ambitions to run a larger department. She hopes to spend the rest of her career in West Tisbury. "This is a great town and a great police department," she said, "and I still have goals, things I want to get done here." She added that her four children have grown up on the Island and all consider the Vineyard as home.
Chief Toomey is not stagnating. In January she will begin a course of study leading to a master's degree in counseling at Antioch University's graduate school in Keene, N.H. She will travel to Keene one day per week during the winter. While a degree in counseling may seem unusual for a police chief, Ms. Toomey's work includes a great deal of counseling with victims of domestic and other kinds of abuse, as well as with those at risk. She is sometimes able to head off trouble before it becomes serious. Common advice from people in town is, "Why don't you talk it over with the Chief?"