White to oversee police, fire departments

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JAY – Selectmen voted Monday to appoint police Chief Larry White Sr. as interim public safety chief to oversee both police and fire departments, Town Manager Ruth Cushman said Tuesday.

White, of Jay, will receive no additional compensation for the job, she said.

 The board created the position after interim Fire Chief Randy Berry of Livermore stepped down on Monday, citing the need to concentrate on his college studies.

 Selectmen told White he will have their full support, Cushman said.

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  In his first action, White asked selectmen to appoint former Fire Chief Scott Shink as captain of Station 2, Cushman said. Shink resigned as chief in 2009 after controversy in the department.

 “I am doing this because we have an excellent Fire Department that I think with all of us working together cooperatively within the Fire Department, we can solve the internal problems,” White said Tuesday.

He said the first thing he’s going to ask them is to rewrite some of their standard operating procedures and some of their bylaws, he said.

 “And speaking to the rank and file within the Fire Department, they have all concurred that this needs to be done,” White said.

“The second thing I hope to accomplish is to put in place a board made up of some of their peers to look at any violations that occur and what disciplinary actions should take place,” White said. The board would be made up of two firefighters from each station and White.

 “If there is a tie, I’ll vote,” White said. “Before it was all up to the chief. Now I want them to own it – what takes place within their department. I also want directions, when they are issued to subordinates, to be done in writing so there is a paper trail to fall back on. I think most of them will welcome this, and I know we can get back on track.”

 White said all he’ll be doing is overseeing the administrative part, not going to fires.

 “I’m doing it because I have a lot of respect for the Jay Fire Department, and I also really love this town and it is my way of trying to give back to the town. I’m just doing it because it is the right thing to do,” White said.

 In other business on Monday, selectmen tabled action on an animal control ordinance for further review to determine if it would stand up in court, if necessary.

 Cushman also told selectmen that there is an interested party looking at the old town office at 99 Main St. Consultants for the party were looking at the building on Tuesday.

 dperry@sunjournal.com

Jay public safety chief

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