JAY — Acting police Chief Richard Caton IV of Wilton has accepted an offer from Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere to be chief of the Police Department.
Confirmation of his appointment will go before the Board of Selectpersons on Nov. 10, LaFreniere said. Until then, Caton will continue as acting chief.
Caton, 33, has been acting chief since February, when the late police Chief Larry White Sr. went on medical leave to undergo pancreatic cancer treatment. White lost his battle with cancer Oct. 5.
If the selectboard confirms Caton’s appointment, he will be paid $58,000.
“I think Richard has done an incredible job filling in and has proved that he is very capable of taking on the position of chief,” LaFreniere said.
Caton initially started with the Police Department as a patrolman and then served as a detective. He joined the Wilton Police Department to become a lieutenant and returned to Jay as a detective about six years ago.
Caton, a veteran, was recognized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Maine in 2013 for his “outstanding contribution” and presented with the National Crime Victims Rights Week 2013 Law Enforcement Award.
The award stemmed from Caton having one lead in a case involving 19 stolen guns from a Jay residence, and he recovered the guns within 24 hours in January 2012.
He was commended for conducting an “expeditious investigation” and keeping the 19 guns, including 10 semiautomatic weapons, out of the hands of others.
Special Agent Christopher Durkin of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also received the award for his work on the Jay case.
Caton comes from a law enforcement background. His father, the late Richard Caton III, was Farmington police chief for several years, and his mother, Melinda, is supervisor of the Franklin County Dispatch Center. His twin brother, Brock Caton of Farmington, was named in July as director of public safety/chief of police of the University of Maine at Farmington’s Department of Public Safety.
Richard Caton IV had initially planned to be a game warden, he said last year.
“I went into college, not in a law enforcement field. I was undecided until I talked to a criminal justice professor,” he said then.
It was the thought of talking about crime scenes and processing them that had him leaning toward becoming a warden, he said. After an internship with the Maine Warden Service, he said, he decided he would rather not work at what he loved to do, hunt and fish.
He grew up in Strong, attended Mt. Abram High School in Salem Township and graduated from the University of Maine at Presque Isle with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He and his wife, Sarah, have three sons.