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Three Rindge officers sworn in following promotions

Frank Morrill is sworn in as Rindge's new police chief at a formal pinning ceremony at the town offices Friday.

(Courtesy photo)

Frank Morrill is sworn in as Rindge's new police chief at a formal pinning ceremony at the town offices Friday. (Courtesy photo)

RINDGE — Rindge Police Chief Frank Morrill — promoted from sergeant earlier this month — was sworn in alongside two fellow Rindge officers, who were also promoted to new positions with the Rindge Police Department in a ceremony Friday at the town offices.

Morrill, an eight-year veteran of the department, has served as interim chief since April when the town’s former police chief, Mike Sielicki, resigned citing pay issues and accepted a job as chief of the Kensington Police Department. At the conclusion of a national search to fill the chief position in early December, the Select Board promoted Morrill, who was one of 82 candidates that had applied.

In addition to Morrill’s recent promotion, Dan Anair moves from detective to sergeant and Jeff Seppala advances from officer to detective. The three officers were sworn in Friday and had their new badges, denoting their new ranks, pinned on their chests by their wives.

Morrill said in an interview with the Ledger-Transcript on Monday that he met with the Select Board in a nonpublic session on Dec. 19 to finalize the promotions of Seppala and Anair and that the board voted unanimously in favor of the officers’ changes in rank.

Anair, who has served as detective for the Rindge Police Department for eight years, was the lead investigator in all major felony cases, said Morrill. Anair has worked as the department’s in-house evidence inventory and control person, as well as the in-house information technology aid, Morrill noted. Anair joined the department about 12 years after having worked for a short time at the Fitzwilliam Police Department.

“As a [Rindge] detective, he has assumed the role of supervisor, working directly between the chief and the patrolmen,” Morrill said. “It was fitting for him to be advanced.”

Seppala has worked for nearly four years with the Rindge Police Department and during that time “has displayed a high degree of military bearing, dedication and loyalty,” Morrill said.

“He’s very detail-oriented and thorough, which are the makings of a great detective,” Morrill said. “[Seppala] has already demonstrated his ability as a lead investigator in felony cases as a full-time patrol officer.”

The Select Board’s receptiveness to promoting officers from within the Rindge Police Department is important, Morrill said, as the town seeks to build morale among its employees and retain them into the future.

With the three promotions now complete, Morrill said he’ll now be working toward filling an open full-time patrol position. In late January, Morrill said he will go before the board with a proposal to hire a full-time certified officer.

“I will ask the board for their support to make a conditional offer to a candidate that I already have in mind,” Morrill said. “The person is certified already and will spare the town a great expense because of it.”

In the year ahead, Morrill said Rindge officers are likely to face great challenges, particularly in the midst of budget constraints. Furthermore, in a stagnant economy, Morrill said an increase in crime, including burglaries, theft and drug and alcohol abuse are statistically more prevalent. A fully-staffed department, he said, is important to ensuring residents’ safety.

“A lot of entities in town have a stake in its future,” Morrill said. “How we move forward to best address these issues is going to be key.”

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