Kenneth Charles was confirmed Tuesday night as chief of police of Farmington. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser Buy this Photo

FARMINGTON — In a unanimous vote Tuesday night selectmen confirmed the appointment of Kenneth Charles as the new police chief.

The vote was 3-0 by Chairman Matthew Smith, Scott Landry and Michael Fogg. Joshua Bell and Stephan Bunker were absent.

Town Manager Richard Davis appointed Charles, but by law the action is subject to confirmation by selectmen.

Charles thanked Davis and the board for the opportunity.

“Having lived here for a number of years, I’ve grown to love and appreciate what we have to offer our community,” Charles said. “I have a lot of pride in the law enforcement community that we have serving our area.”

Charles was with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for 18 years, most recently as a detective. He said he has a long history of collaboration with the Farmington Police Department and its existing staff.

“I have a lot of respect for who is there and how they operate,” he said. “I look forward to the opportunity to share the experience and skills I have and at the same time offer something that maybe can take the department to another level of professionalism. I really hope that as we move forward we’re increasingly responsive to the community’s needs and expectations.”

He succeeds Jack Peck Jr. who resigned in November to become assistant director of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.

Charles said his priorities include identifying and recruiting the absolute best in police services and retaining those employees.

“The most disappointing would be to lose those employees without an opportunity to see them grow,” Charles said. “That’s for the benefit of the community.”

No major changes are expected, he said.

Charles thanked Deputy Chief Shane Cote for filling in as interim chief and acknowledged him having to shift responsibilities for supervisors and patrolmen.

“I think they’ve done an outstanding job with a lot of social strife, the pandemic and staffing shortages,” Charles said. “It’s just been an unprecedented time. I think the department has performed quite admirably.

“I’m quite proud to have this opportunity and look forward to working with each and every one of you in the future,” he said.

“Welcome aboard,” Smith said. “We really look forward to working with you.

Landry also welcomed Charles.

“I wish you the best of luck and success,” Fogg said.

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