RUMFORD — A new police chief may be named at Thursday’s selectmen meeting, according to Town Manager Stacy Carter, who said he favors hiring someone in the local department.

Of the 20 applicants, the only two interviewed were from the Rumford Police Department, he said.

“I want the best person for the job,” the former chief of the department said. “My philosophy is that if we have suitable, capable experienced people from within, I find they can be the best because they know the community, they know the department, and we’re not skipping any steps. We’re continuing right straight ahead. And we do have suitable, capable experienced candidates from within.”

Carter said the majority of applicants were from out of state.

“There was experience, but not being from the community or knowing the department, and having to go through the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, I felt that we had suitable candidates from within to pick from, and that’s the direction that I prefer to go,” he said.

Carter, who served on the interview committee with Selectmen Frank DiConzo and Peter Chase, and Fire Chief Chris Reed, will present a name for selectmen to consider Thursday.

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In another police matter, the town manager said that as of Dec. 6 there were no applications for someone to succeed Sgt. Doug Maifeld, who will retire Jan. 25. The position has been advertised for weeks.

Should the department hire a full-time officer who graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy within the past five years, Rumford would have to reimburse the town that paid for that training, according to state law.

The reimbursement formula is:

• First year after graduation, 100% of cost.

• Second year after graduation, 80% of cost.

• Third year after graduation, 60% of cost.

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• Fourth year after graduation, 40% of cost.

• Fifth year after graduation, 20% of cost.

Carter said he recently got permission from the board to offer $2,000 cash to get someone who graduated from the academy at least two years ago. That would mean Rumford would pay 60% of the cost, which is $24,000. The incentive would increase to $3,000 for the fourth year and $4,000 for the fifth year.

“There was a period last year where most communities were offering an incentive,” Carter said. “Portland was $10,000, and still is. Westbrook was $14,000. And smaller communities were offering varying amounts, usually around $5,000.”

He said he found agencies outside the state offering as much as $30,000, “because there’s that much of a dire need for police officers. People just aren’t getting into the profession.”

bfarrin@sunmediagroup.net

 

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