One officer to leave Dublin; a second is promoted

Dublin Select Board Chairman Charlie Champagne, left, congratulates Officer Timothy Suokko on his promotion to master patrolman during a board meeting Monday. Officer Joel Chidester, right, will be working his last day for the town of Dublin in late January.

(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

Dublin Select Board Chairman Charlie Champagne, left, congratulates Officer Timothy Suokko on his promotion to master patrolman during a board meeting Monday. Officer Joel Chidester, right, will be working his last day for the town of Dublin in late January. (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

DUBLIN — Just as the Dublin Police Department is preparing to say goodbye to one of its officers at the end of this month, it has promoted its second full-time officer to master patrolman.

Officer Joel Chidester, who has worked for Dublin full-time for more than two years, recently accepted a position with the Keene Police Department and will start there on Jan. 28.

“I’m sorry to leave the town of Dublin, but I’m excited about this new opportunity,” Chidester said in an interview with the Ledger-Transcript on Monday. “I will definitely miss my co-workers. I couldn’t have asked to work with a better group of people.”

Chidester, who began his law enforcement career in Dublin, said working for the small town has provided him with a strong foundation in police work.

Because Chidester still has a contract with Dublin through August 2013, the town of Keene has purchased the contract out at a rate of $575 per month, according to meeting minutes from the Dec. 17 Select Board meeting.

As Chidester finishes up his time in Dublin, he participated Monday in a ceremony to honor his fellow officer Timothy Suokko, who was promoted to master patrolman. At Monday’s Select Board meeting, Chairman Charlie Champagne presented Suokko with a certificate of promotion and thanked Suokko for his continued service.

Suokko, who earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Fitchburg State College in Fitchburg, Mass., has nearly 13 years of law enforcement experience. He was a member of the New Ipswich Police Department for three years, prior to accepting a position in Dublin. He also worked for his alma mater for two years and the Princeton Police Department in Princeton, Mass., part-time for about seven years.

In an interview with the Ledger-Transcript after Monday’s ceremony, Suokko said he enjoys the small-town atmosphere in Dublin and looks forward to building his career in the town. “Everybody knows each other and is looking out for each other here. As an officer, you actually get to know the community and become a part of it,” he said.

Suokko was an active boy scout growing up in Ashby, Mass., and said his lifelong love of community service drew him to a career in law enforcement.

As the town of Dublin says goodbye to Chidester, Suokko said he wishes his co-worker the best of luck and knows Chidester will continue to excel where ever his career takes him. “[Chidester] is very knowledgeable. It’s going to be tough to replace him, but I know he’ll do well in Keene,” Suokko said.

The Dublin Police Department is accepting applications through Jan. 18 for the position of full-time officer to replace Chidester. Full-time certification is preferred, but not required, according to an advertisement published in the Ledger-Transcript. Applicants must be 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen and have a high school diploma or the equivalent of one.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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