State Police shift command of Island troop

On Monday, State Police Sergeant Thomas Medeiros, the newly named commander of the Massachusetts State Police barracks on Temahigan Avenue in Oak Bluffs, was busy settling into his new office, and home on the second floor, of the Victorian style building.

“I’m happy to be here,” Sergeant Medeiros, 52, told The Times.

It has been a dizzying few weeks for the veteran police officer and father of a teenage girl. When the Island assignment came up it offered a unique opportunity, but the time frame he had to make a decision to leave a job he knew and liked was short.

For the past 17 years, Sergeant Medeiros was a court office liaison officer assigned to the Fall River District Court. He was quite happy where he was and, after 32 years as a police officer, eligible for retirement.

The prospect of capping his policing career with a new assignment and opportunity in a beautiful community was a prospect he could not resist. “I came out with a smile on my face and when I lose it will be time to leave,” he said. “I have no time frame in mind. As long as I enjoy it I plan on sticking around.”

Since he arrived he has been busy introducing himself to people and getting to know his new command. “I’m jumping right into,” he said as he sorted through paperwork at the station, “I’ve got a lot to learn.”

Sergeant Medeiros, who has a house in Swansea, is no stranger to island living or Martha’s Vineyard. Before he joined the State Police he worked for local departments that included the Nantucket Police. He spent one year on the island on the midnight shift and still likes to visit Nantucket.

He has worked all of the State Police details assigned when Presidents Clinton and Obama visited the Vineyard and assisted local police with July Fourth holiday details.

He also has a personal connection to Martha’s Vineyard. His brother David Medeiros is the Chilmark postmaster. Sergeant Medeiros said he has visited the Island frequently, “but not as a police officer, that’s different.”

Mr. Medeiros said he enjoys spending time with his 16-year-old daughter. What is he looking forward to doing in his spare time? Learning how to rake clams. “I love seafood,” he said.

Sergeant Medeiros takes over command of the contingent of State Police officers assigned to the Island from Sgt. Neal Maciel of Vineyard Haven, who retired with no fanfare after 35 years as a police officer, on May 28.

The State Police command was established in 1934 and until the 1950s the State Police were the only police presence on the Island. The State Police enforce all state laws, assist local departments, and assist the district attorney with investigations.

As station commander, Sgt. Medeiros is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of State Police on the Island and filing regular reports. There are currently two year-round officers stationed at Oak Bluffs. Temporary assignments add officers to the local contingent in the summer months.