Chilmark Police Chief Jonathan Klaren announces retirement

Chilmark select board thankful for his service.

Chilmark Police Chief Jonathan Klaren plans to retire after his contract expires next year. — MV Times

Chilmark Police Chief Jonathan Klaren will not be returning to his position once his contract expires on March 20. 

“Come 2023, I will have worked more than 32 years in this profession, and feel that it is my time to step down and retire. I appreciate the support this board has provided to the police department during my tenure as chief,” Klaren wrote in a letter to the Chilmark select board. “These years have been humbling, challenging, and rewarding. I am proud of where the Chilmark Police Department is today, and I am confident that it will continue to progress and earn support from this board and community.” 

Klaren provided the town the early notice “to allow for [fiscal year 2024] budget and employee modifications.” 

While Klaren was not present during the Tuesday evening Chilmark select board meeting, the board members had nothing but praise for the chief. 

“It feels like we just hired him, but he’s retiring. He’s been a great chief in his short stint as chief. I wish he were staying, but he has every right to move on in life as he wishes to,” board member Bill Rossi said, adding that a new chief will need to be found in the upcoming months. 

Klaren was promoted from the position of sergeant to chief in 2017 after a lengthy process that Rossi and board chair Jim Malkin were a part of as selection committee members. He was introduced to the Chilmark Police Department’s summer program to be a special police officer by town administrator Tim Carroll, which began his career on the Island in 1989. He would become a full-time officer at the former Gay Head Police Department, and returned as an officer to the Chilmark Police Department in 1996. 

Board member Warren Doty said Klaren met with board members individually in private to discuss “his thoughts and his desire.” 

“He has completed many, many years of service to the town of Chilmark, and has done a great job with our police department. I’m sorry that he’s retiring, but at the same time he has things he wants to do, and has a father that needs attention,” Doty said. “I would just support him entirely. He’s been a great chief, and it’s been a pleasure to have him work in the town of Chilmark.”

Rossi agreed, saying Klaren has served for “a long time.”

“I don’t agree with that. I think he should stay for at least another couple of years,” Malkin said, which elicited laughter from his fellow board members. 

Doty was thankful for Klaren’s early notice of retirement, saying this allows them time to make a good choice when hiring the next chief. 

According to Chilmark town accountant Ellen Biskis, Klaren’s salary for fiscal year 2023 was $146,218. 

Meanwhile, the board unanimously endorsed the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School regional agreement, and unanimously recommended Doty and Jeffrey Maida to the school’s building committee. 

The board unanimously approved the state election warrant.

A public hearing will be held in the future about proposed changes to the Chilmark waterways rules and regulations. Rossi asked for this to be put on the agenda for the next meeting in two weeks.


  1. Chief Klaren will be hard to replace, and many of us will be sorry to see him go. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, Jonathan!

  2. Chief Klaren will be hard to replace. He’s been a fair, considerate, and exemplary officer, and I will be sorry to see him go. Enjoy your retirement, Jonathan!

  3. Oops, that second post was supposed to go to the Gazette. That’s what happens when I write at 4:30 am.

    • We’re happy to receive your comments at all hours of the day, even those meant for the Gazette. 😉

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