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Police chief to retire after 23 years in law enforcement

Morrill worked full-time in Rindge for 10 years; offers to stay as interim chief

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

RINDGE — Police Chief Frank Morrill announced last Thursday that he will retire April 30. Morrill has been employed by Rindge for a decade and has served as the chief since April 2012, when he was named chief after Mike Sielicki resigned.

“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of my decision to pursue retirement from full-time police work following nearly 23 years of experience,” Morrill wrote in his resignation. “Other demands and interests of a personal nature have rendered this decision an important one for me to make at this juncture.”

The Select Board reluctantly accepted Morrill’s resignation, according to Vice-Chair Robert Hamilton, who said board members plan to meet with Morrill to discuss details of hiring a new chief.

“We certainly do wish Frank well in his retirement and any of his future endeavors,” said Hamilton. “I will always wish him and his family the best. He will be missed as police chief by many in the town.”

In his retirement notice, Morrill expressed his willingness to stay with the department part-time as interim chief while the town works to fill the job on a permanent basis.

Morrill said his presence could help to smooth the transition for the new chief since the department is currently in the process of hiring a new full-time officer and a new records manager.

According to Hamilton, the Select Board will use Management Recruiters International recruiting tools while looking for Morrill’s replacement. MRI is the online recruitment resource that Morrill used during his own application process.

“[Morrill] felt he was perfectly vetted going through that job search,” said Hamilton.

In addition to the interview process an applicant under consideration by the board will need an extensive background check, polygraph test, physical and psychological tests.

In his resignation letter, Morrill also expressed interest in remaining with the department on a part-time basis to help cover shift gaps and reduce overtime in the already understaffed department.

“The department is faced with some immense staffing challenges,” Morrill said in an interview Monday, referring to a high rate of officer turnover. “Part-time officers are highly valued, in that they can fill vacant shifts and reduce overtime costs.”

Morrill said residents might start seeing him more in the future, since he could be on the streets as a part-time patrol officer, instead of serving as an administrator.

“It’s not like I’m disconnecting and leaving the area,” he said. “I’ll be present and visible.”

Morrill said he isn’t ready to discuss his long term plans yet, but that he knows he will still be working closely with people.

“I know I’ll find myself working with people and actively involved,” said Morrill. “I’m looking forward to an active and ambitious future working with people. I have opportunities that have been presenting themselves to me and who knows where I’m going to land. No doubt it’ll be someplace great.”

Morrill said he will be leaving with a sense of accomplishment.

Since he became chief two years ago, he said, the department has seen a 35 percent reduction in service calls, improved relations with the community through Franklin Pierce University and Rindge Crime Watch and hosted 10 free public training sessions on a variety of subjects including first aid and gun safety. Through changes to its prosecution program, the department has nearly a 100 percent prosecution success rate at a cost of about $4,500 less annually than the previous program.

Morrill was named Business Leader of the Year for 2013 by the Rindge Chamber of Commerce. Later this month, the Rindge Police Department will receive the 2013 Community Policing Award for a town with a population under 15,000 from the New England Association of Chiefs of Police.

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