Anair named Rindge police chief

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Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 9:13AM

From the moment Daniel Anair joined the Rindge Police Department more than 16 years ago, he aspired to become police chief. Next Wednesday, his aspiration will become reality.

“It’s a good feeling… to know that years of hard work and dedication paid off,” said Anair, in a phone interview Friday. “I’ve been fortunate enough to spend my entire career here. It has always been important for me to be a part of a small department.”

Anair, who is currently serving as interim police chief, was announced as the town’s next police chief during the Selectmen’s Wednesday meeting. Anair has served as the department’s sergeant since 2013 has also served as detective and on the NH Drug Task Force in his tenure on the department. He was initially hired on Feb. 19, 2001.

“He’s uniquely qualified for the job,” said Select Board chair Jim Qualey, after the meeting Wednesday.

Selectwoman Roberta Oeser said Anair had applied for the vacant chief position during the previous cycle and that the board did not conduct a search outside the department this time around. 

Anair takes over for departed chief Todd Muilenberg, who resigned in September, citing lack of support from the select board and other “important town committees.” 

“I hope the next Chief of Police is more successful in gaining the support and cooperation of our elected officials,” wrote Muilenberg in his resignation letter. “This is critical to ensure the police department can recruit and retain quality employees and deliver safe, effective, and professional policing services for the citizens of Rindge. Our officers and citizens deserve nothing less.”

In his resignation letter, Muilenberg recommended Anair for the chief position, saying “he has my respect and he has earned this opportunity. Dan’s tenure, institutional knowledge, community contacts, policing abilities, and leadership skills make him the obvious choice.”

Anair has signed a five-year contract at a salary of $79,000, according to Town Administrator Joe Byk. Anair is eligible for wage pool increases in 2019 and receives the town employee benefit package. 

Getting back into the community more will be an immediate priority for Anair, something that will be helped when the department gets back up to full-staff.

With Jeffrey Seppala being promoted to sergeant and Rachel Malynowski being promoted to detective, Anair said he is currently searching for a full-time officer and a part-time officer to bring the staff back up to full capacity. All promotions are effective Nov. 1.

“It directly impedes what we can do as a department,” said Anair, of staffing shortages. 

Anair said he was drawn to Rindge’s police department due to his familiarity with the town — he grew up in Winchendon, Massachusetts — and the small town and department feel. And with his parents owning Horse and Buggy Feeds in Winchendon, Anair said he already was familiar with some of the local residents.

“To this day, I still know plenty of Rindge residents who are customers,” said Anair. “A police department is no different than a business; you have to take care of the public.”

One response Anair has already had to needs and desires in the community is to have the Rindge Police Department once again be a part of the National Prescription Take Back Day on Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“It’s something we did several years ago,” said Anair. “People always ask how to get rid of their prescription drugs. I just want to listen to what the community wants.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.