Two chiefs will help pick next Bridgton Police leader

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Bridgton Selectmen are hoping to have not one, but two police chiefs serve on the interview panel that will select a new police chief to replace Kevin Schofield, who left on April 10 to become Windham Police Chief.

At a Tuesday workshop, selectmen agreed to ask Scarborough Police Chief Robbie Moulton to serve on the panel, as well as either Oxford County Sheriff Ron Gallant or Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce.

Selectman Doug Taft said Joyce would be a good choice, because he once patrolled the town of Bridgton and is familiar with its needs.

Along with the law enforcement officials, the panel will consist of a citizen, yet to be named, Town Manager Bob Peabody and Deputy Town Manager Georgiann Fleck. It will be the panel’s job to review all of the applications and whittle their number down to a list of finalists that will be given to the board for review. A decision will be made at next Tuesday’s meeting as to how many finalists will be named.

The interview panel will be guided throughout the process by the Tideview Group, which was hired by the town as a consultant. The Kennebunk firm has provided former Brunswick Police Chief and Tideview consultant Jerry Hinton to serve in an administrative role as Interim Police Chief.

Ads for the new chief have been placed in the Maine Sunday Telegram, the Saturday edition of the Bangor Daily News, the Maine Municipal Association, Maine Criminal Justice Academy and International Association of Chiefs of Police. Applications have already been coming in, said Peabody, with a submission deadline of May 12.

Selectmen agreed not to have a Board of Selectmen member serve on the interview panel, since the full board will be reviewing the finalists, and having someone serve in both capacities would be “like passing it on to themselves,” said Selectman Paul Hoyt.

Taft said he planned to apply as a private citizen to serve as the citizen member on the interview panel.

After all the applications have been screened and initial interviews conducted, the finalists will undergo a second and possibly a third interview, along with a background check. As Town Manager, Peabody will make the recommendation, and final confirmation will be made by the board. The process is expected to take between three and six months, Peabody estimated.

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