New Bridgton Police chief expected to start by July

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

If all goes as planned, Bridgton should have a new police chief in two months.

Town Manager Bob Peabody said Tuesday that 19 applicants from Maine and New England, with a few from other states, have applied to become Bridgton’s next police chief. Applications closed May 8.

Peabody distributed a timeline anticipating that the new chief would start work on July 20. Former Brunswick Police Chief Jerry Hinton has been filling in following the departure of Police Chief Kevin Schofield, who left to become Windham Police Chief. Copies of the resumes will be distributed this week to the Board of Selectmen and members of the Police Chief Search Committee.

The board went into executive session to consider requests to serve on the search committee. Following the session, they appointed Steve Plimpton and Doug Taft.

Plimpton is a paramedic/firefighter in two nearby towns and works full-time as a paramedic for United Ambulance. He has 20 years experience as a law enforcement dispatcher. Taft served on the previous search committee that resulted in Schofield’s hiring.

Plimpton will serve as a citizen representative, and Taft will represent selectmen. Taft is running as a write-in candidate for re-election to the board, and should he not be elected, he will serve on the committee as a citizen member, Board Chairman Bernie King said.

Rounding out the search committee will be Peabody, Deputy Town Manager Georgiann Fleck, Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant and a current police chief from another town.

Although selectmen will see copies of all 19 applications, it will be up to the search committee to trim the list to a number of semifinalists when they meet next Thursday, May 21, to review and rate the applicants. Selectmen will make their preferences known to Peabody.

The search committee will conduct their first interviews with the most promising candidates on May 27, and Peabody, who is responsible for hiring the new chief, will likely conduct a second interview with a few finalists on June 4. Peabody will make the hiring decision, which must be confirmed by vote of the selectmen.

“I am hoping to make an offer on June 18” to the person selected as the top choice, Peabody said. He added that he will be talking to Tideview, the consulting firm hired to help with the search, about conducting background checks on the candidates. Hinton, who is a consultant for Tideview, said he may participate in the background checks.

 

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