Dover-Foxcroft officials hope to have new police chief on the job by summer
DOVER-FOXCROFT — Earlier this year the selectmen accepted the resignation of Police Chief Dennis A. Dyer — which was effective July 30 — but he agreed to stay on as the interim head of the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department for up to one year as a search committee works to fill the position. Dyer has been chief of police since 1985 and in September he reached 44 years with the department.
“The protection committee met last week and we put together a timeline and process for filling the vacancy,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said during a Nov. 29 selectmen’s meeting.
The position is being advertised — including on page 8 of last week’s Piscataquis Observer — and applications are due by late January. Interviews will be conducted in February, with the selection process completed in March and the candidate finalized that month.
The next police chief will be allowed to have 60 days to give their notice if necessary and the Dover-Foxcroft position would be filled in May. The timeline allows for 30 to 60 extra days to extend any part of the hiring process by the time Dyer’s interim year concludes in late July. The hiring committee’s recommended candidate, who will have gone through reference and background checks and testing, will be brought forward to the selectmen for approval.
Select Vice Chair Cindy Freeman Cyr asked about the type of applicant being sought for the police chief position.
Clukey said this was discussed by the protection committee, with the ideal candidate having a degree in criminal justice and law enforcement administrative experience. “The ability of that person to be very [proximate] to here is important,” he said, as there is no residency requirement but the next police chief will need to be able to respond within a particular timeframe.
The protection committee, made up of board members Jane Conroy, Steve Grammont and Ernie Thomas, will be on the hiring panel along with two other seats. One will be filled by a member of the public and Grammont said the fifth committee member will be someone from outside Dover-Foxcroft with law enforcement experience.
“It’s a big job, it’s a really important job,” Freeman Cyr said.
In other business, the selectmen accepted a proposal from Community Planning Consultant Gwendolyn Hilton of Madison for work on updating the land use ordinance. Hilton, who was a part of the comprehensive plan approved by voters at the November referendum, made a proposal for the total cost of her work not to exceed $15,000.
Clukey said the land use ordinance will be readied for a town meeting vote in June 2018.
The ordinance will be developed by a seven-member committee as the appointments of Grammont, Lisa Laser, Chris Maas, Paul Matulis, George McKay, Louise Ringle and Georgia Underwood were approved by the selectmen.
“Every one of these people was very, very engaged in the comprehensive planning process for the duration,” Clukey said, saying the first committee meeting will be in December.
“It looks like we have some great volunteers, including one of our members,” Freeman Cyr said.
In his report, Clukey said the next selectmen’s meeting on Dec. 12 will include a public hearing on the $240,000 CDBG grant for the Globeco Maine. The grant is closing at the end of the year and the funds assisted the operations of the multi-use DuraFresh cloth manufacturer on outer West Main Street.
“It’s a good story for our area I think and I’m glad we were able to be helpful with this program,” Clukey said. He said company officials will be present on Dec. 12 to discuss what the CDBG program has meant to the business, the creation of jobs in town and what is planned next for the operation.
Clukey said the next meeting will also include a presentation on the application process for AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities status.”Part of that process is to have a committee,” Clukey said as this will be discussed in several weeks.