PARIS — Police Chief David Verrier and Lt. Michael Dailey have resigned to take positions with the Maine Correctional Center and Oxford County Sheriff's Office, respectively.
Verrier submitted his resignation Friday, effective Nov. 30.
Dailey resigned three days earlier, Nov. 13, and his last day is Nov 27.
Verrier, 47, said Tuesday that with his children almost grown and his residence now in the Windham area near his father and handicapped brother, it was time to make the move.
Working as an investigator for the Correctional Center in Windham will take him back to his roots, he said, and hopefully he'll have much less stress and more time to play some golf and be with his family.
“This was the time to do it. It really excites me," he said. "The best part of my career has been being an investigator.”
His job at the Maine Correctional Center will be investigating incidents involving the 600 to 700 prisoners.
Verrier said although he felt it was time to make a change, the decision was not easy.
“Leaving some place you’re used to and the relationships you’ve developed, I’ll miss that," he said.
"He’s done a fine job,” Sam Elliot, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said.
Verrier said he knew Dailey was looking for another position. Someone from the Oxford County Sheriff's Office came to the police station last week to give him Dailey’s letter of resignation because Dailey was on vacation, he said.
Verrier said he was not surprised that Dailey accepted a position with that agency because he will be doing a lot of accident reconstruction work, which he likes.
In his two-page resignation letter, Dailey said making up his mind to leave was “by far one of the toughest decisions I have had to make, and most likely will ever have to make.
“I have fought with this choice for a lengthy period of time and after weighing the pros and cons I have concluded that this is the perfect time to take advantage of the opportunity to move my law enforcement career in another direction,” he wrote. “I felt it was important to make this decision now instead of later so the vacancy could be addressed prior to our new hires having to go to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.”
Dailey said he is excited about the opportunities to advance his training in motor vehicle accident reconstruction.
“I need to further prepare myself for a career outside of law enforcement, and advanced training in the specialty of crash investigation is paramount for that to occur,” he wrote.
He said while the Sheriff's Office can provide the training and education, it is unlikely that the town of Paris would ever have same level of funding to pay for equipment and educational opportunities to ensure he can maintain his national accreditation in reconstruction.
Dailey stressed his decision was based on professional development opportunities, financial and retirement stability and "most importantly” as a means to revitalize my career.”
He has been with the Paris Police Department for 14 years.
Both men said their decisions were based on personal needs and not the selectmen's recent decision to conduct an audit of the department or the recent failure to gain voter support for merging the Paris and Norway police departments.
That audit is expected to be suspended or called off, Elliot said. With a new police chief coming on board, “there's no point in reviewing what someone else did,” he said.
Acting Town Manager Elizabeth Knox said she is in the process of determining how to handle the situation for the immediate future, because newly hired Town Manager Amy Bernard does not begin full-time until Dec. 17.
The department's remaining full-time roster has Sgt. Hartley "Skip" Mowatt, Harry Sims, Ray Parr, Alan Carr, Nick Gilbert and Tim Libby.
Verrier said he believes the department can continue to move in a positive direction, as long as the Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen are supportive of it.
“They'll be fine. The pay is right. The benefits are right. The Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen just need to get behind the Police Department,” he said.
“They are doing a phenomenal job,” said Verrier of the officers. “It would have been nice to see their careers grow, but it’s important to take care of my family and my needs.”