CARRABASSETT VALLEY – Selectmen voted Monday to hire Maine State Police Trooper Mark Lopez of Kingfield as the town's new police chief and director of security of Sugarloaf, Town Manager Dave Cota said Tuesday.
He was one of 14 candidates to apply for the job, he said. Two of the candidates dropped out and the hiring committee interviewed three.
Lopez has a long history of law enforcement. He has about 25 years with Maine State Police in various capacities, Cota said. He has investigated homicides and previously worked out of the Franklin County District Attorney's Office in Farmington. He currently is a trooper with the State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.
“He brings a lot of skill sets to the job,” Cota said. “We're pretty excited.”
He coaches soccer and other sports in the neighboring community and lives nearby, he said.
“We had some other good candidates but at the end of the day the board thought Mark was the right person for the job,” he said.
Lopez's starting pay is $55,000. After six months his salary will be raised to $57,500 and at 12 months it will increase to $60,000.
The department has five full-time officers, plus the chief.
Lopez will take the position currently held by Franklin County Sheriff-elect Scott Nichols Sr.
“We very much appreciate the professionalism Scott brought to the (Police) Department and his accomplishments and the great job he has done for us for the last five years,” Cota said. “We wish him well.”
It is unknown when Lopez will take over the position, Cota said. He has to give notice to his current employer.
Nichols begins his new duties Jan. 1.