DIXFIELD — The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office will begin covering the town at 6 p.m. Friday for 180 days, due to the police chief resigning and lack of full-time officers, Town Manager Dustin Starbuck announced Tuesday.

Dixfield Police Chief Aaron Mick has resigned. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

The Board of Selectmen voted to take that action after an emergency meeting Monday evening, he said.

Chief Aaron Mick, who was hired last September, resigned “about 10 days ago” because recruiting is just too difficult, Starbuck said. His resignation is effective Friday.

“We’re down to one full-time employee,” Starbuck said, referring to Dave Hodgson, who was moved from reserve to full-time status by selectmen July 20. Hodgson will be laid off and so will Officer Anne Simmons-Edmunds, who was placed on administrative leave May 22 while an outside agency conducts an investigation over a “serious matter.”

Cpl. Brandon Kelly left the force Monday Aug. 3 to work for Hartt Transportation. A couple of reserve officers also departed — Rex Schweighofer to Jay Police Department and Robert Haseltine to Rumford Police Department.

The Police Department will close but not disband, Starbuck said. “The reason is, until the voters actually vote to disband we can’t dissolve or disband it.”

Meanwhile, public hearings will be scheduled in September and October and options will be voted on at the Nov. 3 referendum.

Starbuck said one option would be whether to continue to contract with the Sheriff’s Office. “Sheriff (Christopher) Wainwright and I will be working in close coordination to ensure that the coverage and priorities of the town are met. They will be stretched, but Sheriff Wainwright has told me that Dixfield will have 24/7 coverage.”

Residents are urged to call 911 or the Oxford County Regional Communications Center in Paris at 1-800-733-1421 for assistance.

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