Chilmark narrows finalists to three for new police chief

Interim Chilmark Police Chief Tim Rich will be replaced by either Chilmark police Sgt. Jonathan Klaren, Plymouth police Capt. Bruce McNamee, or Seekonk police Capt. Frank John. —Stacey Rupolo

After extensive background checks, personality profiles, an employment verification process, and personal interviews, the Chilmark police selection committee has narrowed the final pool of candidates from five to three. The three finalists are current Chilmark Police Sgt. Jonathan Klaren, Plymouth Police Capt. Bruce McNamee, and Seekonk Police Capt. Frank John.

“They are all strong candidates,” selectman Bill Rossi told The Times Tuesday. “All three candidates are longtime police officers; it would be a promotion for all three.”

Selectmen did final interviews in public meetings on March 8 at town hall. The board will reconvene Thursday, March 9, at 5 pm, to review the candidates and perhaps make a selection.

This action comes after the abrupt resignation on Dec. 20, 2016, of former Chilmark Police Chief Brian Cioffi, who cited a desire for a career change and more family time. Selectmen then named retired and former longtime Chilmark Police Chief Tim Rich interim chief. He agreed to act as Chilmark police chief until the search for a new one was completed and the new person begins his job.

The search committee was Mr. Rossi, interim Chief Rich, and planning board member Joan Malkin. Selectmen alone make the final decision.

“I’m very pleased with the process,” Chief Rich said in the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, March 7. “I think the committee did a good job, and a thorough job, and a transparent job coming up with the five [candidates] we interviewed — doing all the fact-checking and background checking — I think we presented the board with three very qualified candidates. I’m comfortable with our work.”

The final three candidates do not appear before selectmen with any ranked order of preference.

“I’d like to personally compliment the three members of the selection committee, Bill, Joan, and Tim, who went through all of these applications — I think we’ve done a very complete search,” Warren Doty, chairman of the selectmen, said.

“We feel that we have really vetted these three candidates more than anyone vetted the attorney general,” Mr. Doty said, to laughter.

“I have to say that it was really good to have a police chief on the committee to read between the lines,” Mr. Rossi said. “There were certain things that he was able to pick up on that I wasn’t, and maybe Joan wasn’t, and I found it very, very helpful during the process.”