New police chief ‘looking forward’ to next chapter

By Lisa Williams Ackley
Staff Writer

Bridgton’s next chief of police said he decided to take the position, as it represents professional and personal opportunities for him as well as his wife andtheir two children.

Kevin L. Schofield said he was drawn to take the job here “because Bridgton seems like a tight-knit community where people care about one another.”

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Schofield, as to how he feels about officially coming on board later this month as Bridgton’s next police chief. “I get the impression that Bridgton seems to be a tight-knit community and people care about it, and I like that and I want to be a part of that.”

Schofield was the unanimous choice of the members of the Selection Committee who forwarded their recommendation to the town manager to complete the background and pre-employment testing for him.

Currently, Schofield is commander of the Support Services Division for the Brunswick Police Department where he manages the department’s Criminal Investigations Division, the E-9-1-1 Center and Records Division. He holds an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an executive certificate in Human Resource Management and has only two more classes to finish in order to complete his Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership.

Schofield has over 25 years of law enforcement experience that includes budgeting, strategic planning and operations management, according to Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz who announced Schofield’s hiring Feb. 28.

Berkowitz said the hiring process was begun three months ago, after Chief of Police David Lyons announced his retirement, with the selection of a committee that included two police chiefs, two Bridgton selectmen, three citizens, the town’s executive assistant and the town manager.

Applications were received from over 20 interested individuals mostly from the Northeast, and interviews were held during January and February.

The town manager said Chief of Police Schofield will start his employ with the town on March 31 and that during the interim he will be attending some department meetings as well as formally meeting with the five selectmen, town office staff and citizens.

“We want to host a meet and greet opportunity for the community as soon as possible,” Berkowitz said Feb. 28. “We will also spend some time in March and outline some of the key issues that the Department and Kevin must address going forward. He will also need time with Lieutenant (Peter) Madura and staff members as part of this process.”

Selectmen Chairman Arthur D. Triglione Sr., speaking on behalf of the entire board stated, “This will be an exciting opportunity for Kevin and our community, and we look forward to having him work with the rest of the Select Board. We believe the hiring process was very thorough and professional and express our appreciation to the committee members.”

“Career-wise, this is something I’ve wanted to do — to be a chief of police,” said Schofield via phone, Monday afternoon. “I saw this opportunity, and I started to do my research. I like the attraction of a smaller community. My intention is to know the community and to have our community know us — and have the community members know the officers and know who I am.”

New chief of police on his new department

“I’ve been making observations of the (Bridgton Police) Department, and I think it’s a very exciting time for the department. There is a really good mix of senior folks and an enthusiastic group of younger officers,” Chief of Police Scholfield said. “I’ve been paying attention to the cases they’ve been handling — they’ve been pulling together good cases and making a lot of arrests. There is a tight-knit feeling in the department, and I’m looking forward to becoming a part of that. I’m excited to be coming to Bridgton.”

Schofield said he also looks forward to the opportunity “to reinforce the energy level, demographics and make-up of the department.”

Personally, Schofield said he was attracted to Bridgton “by the mountains, lakes and rivers, and by activities like skiing and snowmobiling.”
“I’m an avid outdoorsman, and I like to hike, four-wheel, hunt and fish,” stated Schofield.

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