Atkinson’s next chief will be a part-timer
Selectmen are moving ahead with plans to hire a part-time chief despite voting last fall to go with a full-time chief to replace former chief Philip Consentino.
“The feedback was immediate and it was vocal that the town didn’t need a full-time chief and wanted to stay with a part-time chief,” Town Administrator Bill Innes said.
Rockingham County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Al Brackett was hired as an interim chief in December to replace Sgt. Pat Caggiano, who retired and had served as interim chief since February 2013 when Consentino was fired after 35 years on the job.
Selectmen also need to decide whether the position will require 25 hours or 32 hours a week; it was a 25-hour-a-week job under Consentino.
“A chief’s job, whether full time or part time, is a lot of responsibility. You don’t just go home after 32 hours and don’t answer the phone. If you have a critical incident that happens, the chief has to respond,” he said.
Innes said he expects the search for a new part-time chief will take about 10 weeks. The New Hampshire Association of Police Chiefs will pare down the list of candidates to three to six. They will be interviewed by the association’s professional board and a board composed of citizens. Selectmen will then review the candidates based on recommendations from both boards.