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Police chief to retire; search on for successor

Posted by Michele Morgan Bolton  June 18, 2010 10:42 AM

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Police Chief Michael J. Weir, a nearly 40-year law enforcement veteran of the town department, will retire on June 30, and, according to a plan laid out by Town Administrator Bill Keegan, will be replaced by one of the department's four lieutenants.

Under town law, Keegan can pick the candidate for chief, and selectmen then have 15 days to either approve his decision, or veto it.

Weir succeeded his longtime friend and colleague Dennis Teehan as chief on Jan. 1, 2006. After suffering a heart attack, though, Weir has been out on sick leave since January. In his absence, Lieutenant Michael D'Entremont has served as the executive officer.

"This will be an internal process,'' Keegan said. "I’m soliciting input, and the four lieutenants can compete for the position. Some of them have already expressed interest."

Keegan said he will create a panel to interview any of those four candidates who apply for the department's top job and hopes to have a decision by the end of July.

In addition to D'Entrement, the town's other lieutenants are Clifford Paschal, Francis Bielawski, and Robert Nedder Jr.

A search committee chose Weir over Bielawski last time around.

Keegan said he is compiling an interview panel from outside the area so they will have little or no knowledge of the candidates before they are interviewed.

There will be a minimum of two police chiefs and possibly another town administrator or town manager with experience in administration and human resources "to cover the finance, personnel, and collective bargaining issues associated with the job,'' Keegan said in a memo to selectmen.

Then, he said, following receipt of the panel’s findings, "I intend to review the interview tapes and to carefully consider the responses provided by each of the candidates. My selection decision will be based on a combination of the oral interview results and the candidate’s experience and credentials."

According to the most recent annual report, Weir earns $146,921.24.

Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at mmbolton1@verizon.net.

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