CALAIS, Maine — The city has a new police chief.
At a regular meeting of the City Council on Thursday night, the councilors appointed Sgt. David Randall, the city’s acting police chief, as the new chief effective Nov. 2.
City Manager Diane Barnes made the recommendation.
“We have finally come to the end of the selection process,” she said. “I have had the opportunity to observe David’s performance over the last 10 months and I feel very confident that he can handle the position and do a really great job for the Police Department and the community.”
His salary was set at $48,717.
Randall, 43, replaces former Police Chief Michael Milburn, who resigned in June for health reasons.
Thursday’s council vote was unanimous.
Randall was born in Stoughton, Mass., but moved with his family to Maine when he was 6 years old. His father started a restaurant business in Baileyville. He attended Woodland elementary and high schools.
In 1987, the Baileyville Police Department hired him as a part-time police officer. The Princeton Police Department then hired him in 1988.
He graduated in 1989 from the 61st Municipal Basic Police School in Waterville and was hired by the Calais Police Department. He was promoted to sergeant in 1995.
He has been the acting police chief, because of the former chief’s health problems, on and off for about five years.
Randall lives in Baileyville with his wife, Kellie, and his son Jacob.
Barnes said during an earlier interview that the charter allowed for the City Council to wave the residency requirement for its police chief.
The charter, however, deviates from the city’s personnel policy. The personnel policy requires residency, but it also says that the policy of the city is to “provide maximum opportunity to currently qualified employees whenever possible.”
When the city first advertised for a replacement for Milburn earlier this year, it had a residency requirement. Candidates were interviewed, none was selected.
Barnes decided when she advertised a second time to not include the residency requirement so that it would open the job search to a wider pool of candidates. Randall was selected.
During the meeting, the councilors signed off on a memorandum of understanding that allows the council to suspend Randall’s residency requirements. It also allows him one year — more if needed — to be certified as a chief through the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
Randall will be considered a provisional employee on probationary status for one year as defined by the city’s policy. However, the council agreed to allow the time Randall served as acting police chief beginning Jan. 10 to count as part of that probationary period.
After the meeting, Randall said he was pleased with the appointment.
He agreed he had a job ahead of him. The department is short-staffed, so Randall has to immediately begin the process of hiring two patrol officers. “We [also] have to look forward to more training,” he said.
Randall also said that he would like to put in place an effective public relations program, but said he did not plan any major changes to the department.
“Even though I’ve been there for 20 years and been in charge for 10 months, I still need to do some evaluation. Once we get things in line and get people in place I am not going to say there won’t be any changes, but we are going to go slow and make sure that we don’t ruffle too many feathers. Plus, big changes cost money,” he said.