FARMINGTON — Town Manager Richard Davis told selectmen Tuesday night that he appointed Deputy Chief Shane Cote as interim police chief while the town searches for a successor for Jack Peck Jr.

“Jack Peck, our police chief of 10 years, has taken a position at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy as assistant director,” Davis said. “I’m very happy for him. It’s a big loss for the town for sure.”

Cote offered to serve as interim chief, Davis said, and will receive the same pay as the chief.

“He may want to apply for the position as well,” Davis said.

Peck’s official last day will be Nov. 12, 31 years to the day since he began working for the town.

“We owe him a lot of gratitude,” Davis said.

A committee of citizens, selectmen and another police chief will be formed to conduct the search.

John Rogers of Strong, former director of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, was suggested as a possibility by Davis.

Selectman Stephan Bunker, who was filling in as chairman,  asked if people wanted someone from a neighboring town or a town with similar size who has no relationship with Farmington.

“We want someone with expertise, not interested in the job,” Davis said. “John lives in Strong, was police chief here, was director of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy before he retired. I could approach Jack, see who among his police chief contacts would serve.

“He is highly respected among that organization (Maine Chiefs of Police Association),” Davis said.

Chairman Matthew Smith, who wasn’t at the meeting, has offered to serve on the search committee, Davis said.

“I would like to be considered for that committee if there’s room,” Selectman Michael Fogg said.

In other business relating to the Police Department, the board approved two grants and the purchase of security cameras.

The $1,000 Walmart grant would allow the department to establish an account for the K-9 program.

“There’s no place to put donations,” Cote said. “Our dog requires special food. We can get it right at Walmart.”

An $8,000 grant, administered by Franklin County Emergency Management, would purchase addition weapons for the VirTra Use of Force Virtual Training System, Cote said.

Authorization was given to replace two security cameras that are no longer working and purchase additional cameras for use downtown.

“We’ve solved quite a few cases with them,” Cote said. “There have been issues where we weren’t able to get a good camera angle. We’d like to add more to get better coverage.”

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