Give the inside candidate for police chief a chance
Here we go again. History appears to be repeating itself in Rindge. The selectmen voted to hire MRI to come in and administer a search for a new police chief, and give recommendations on how to improve the department. This is costing the taxpayers of Rindge several thousand dollars. We have been down this exact road before. We hire a firm to find a new chief and to make recommendations, only to not use their recommendations. Waste of money.
MRI’s job was to find applicants, and narrow the pool by phone interviews and essay questions. There were 39 applicants for this process. These applicants were from all around the country. MRI reduced the pool to three using these techniques. Two of these “finalists” dropped out for one reason or another, leaving one “finalist.” Speculation is that it is Sgt. Dan Anair. One selectperson apparently was not happy about this, and has asked MRI to contact a town in Vermont that recently went through a police chief search, and get the list of applicants that were turned down over there. Really? We are now going to settle for Vermont’s rejects, because you were not happy with the firm’s final recommendation? What is the sense in hiring this firm? How well is someone from another state going to know Rindge, or our way of life here?
Sgt. Dan Anair is a 14-year-veteran of the Rindge Police Department. He is the longest-standing officer on the force. By rank, he is next in line to be promoted. He knows this town and its processes inside and out. He also knows its residents, and has a good relationship with them. There is no reason why he should not at least be given the chance to prove himself, other than one selectperson not liking him. He is highly qualified. Isn’t it time to put personal opinion aside and actually do what is right for the town? Stop hamstringing Rindge with personal vendettas.
The morale at the police station is at its lowest since I can remember. We are down to four full-time officers. Some left for more money, and others left because they see no chance for advancement. Others will likely leave, including Sgt. Anair if he is passed over. Could you blame them? Who would want to stay in a department with no chance for advancement? Maybe it’s time to stop spending money foolishly on these searches, and use that money to keep our existing officers. Wake up before it’s too late. Learn from prior mistakes before history does repeat itself.
Larry Cleveland lives in Rindge.