MEXICO — The Board of Selectmen has named Lt. Roy Hodsdon interim police chief, replacing Jim Theriault, who will officially retire Jan. 10.

Meanwhile, Theriault will continue to do administrative work for the department.

Selectmen voted unanimously to appoint Hodsdon following an executive session Sept. 24. Theriault, who has served as chief for the past 20 years, said the board was “very pleased with Roy’s work ethic” and had no problem with him stepping in.

“They knew about his dedication to the job, and how it’s surpassed by nobody,” Theriault said. “He spends numerous hours here on his own time, working on investigations. He deserves it.”

Hodsdon said Theriault has been “training and grooming him” for the position since 2006, when he was promoted to sergeant.

“Sort of like Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Hodsdon said as he and Theriault laughed.

Theriault said he promoted Hodsdon from sergeant to lieutenant in 2012 to “give him more administrative training.

“A lot of the training that the state has is for administration,” Theriault said, “and to be able to get that training, you have to be ranked lieutenant or higher.”

Hodsdon will not receive a pay raise as chief.

Theriault added that when he officially retires on Jan. 10, Hodsdon will be bumped up to chief.

While Theriault has served as chief since 1993, his involvement with law enforcement began in 1972 as a reserve officer with the Rumford Police Department.

“I worked there for eight years, and in 1982, I was hired at the Mexico Police Department for a year and a half,” Theriault said. “After some budget cuts, they ended up cutting my position. I was rehired by Mexico in 1992, where I got my sergeant’s stripes back. In 1993, I replaced Chief Greg Gallant.”

Theriault said his retirement has left him with mixed emotions.

“I have mixed feelings about the whole thing,” he said. “The past 15 years here, working with this Board of Selectmen and this town manager, has been wonderful. The first 10 years I was on the job, it was always an argument to get anything done. Now, as long as I can justify what I’m asking for, I have no problems.”

“I’m probably going to miss this place, along with all the guys I worked with over the years, and the girls down at the Town Office,” Theriault said. “I’ve been thinking about maybe staying on as a reserve and doing the ATV stuff, but I’m not sure yet.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 42 years,” Theriault said with a smile. “That’s a long time to be anywhere.”

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