LINCOLN, Maine — A 30-year-old Massachusetts man with extensive experience is on track to become the town’s new police chief next month, officials said Monday.
Acting on Town Manager Lisa Goodwin’s recommendation, the Town Council voted 6-0 Monday night to make a conditional offer of employment to Scott Minckler of Northfield, Mass., as top cop. Councilor Rod Carr was absent.
Minckler, who will command a department of six full-time officers and some part-timers, will start on March 1, Goodwin said.
Chairman Steve Clay said the council accepted Goodwin’s recommendation without reservations.
“He is a young guy, but from what Lisa was told he can handle the job,” Clay said Monday. “He has worked in bigger departments and smaller ones. From what Lisa said, his references checked out great.”
A sergeant in the police force of Northfield, Minckler was that town’s acting police chief from 2008 to 2009 and also worked for the Massachusetts towns of Hubbardston, Chatham and Bernardston, Goodwin said.
He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State College and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Academy, Goodwin said.
“Scott is community-oriented and will be a great fit for Lincoln,” Goodwin said in a statement.
“He is currently very involved in the Northfield community as a baseball and football coach and believes that participating in community events is essential for opening communications between citizens and the police department,” Goodwin added. “With Scott comes a fresh vision for the direction of our Police Department.”
Minckler was among 17 applicants for the job.
The town had been searching for a permanent replacement for former Chief William Flagg since he resigned his position on Aug. 25 to pursue a teaching career. A Milford resident, Flagg took a full-time but temporary position with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department, his former department, as a patrol officer, while waiting for a teaching position to open.
The search was resumed in October when the first attempt ended with just six applicants, a number Goodwin and the council deemed insufficient. Previous searches had drawn as many as 19 candidates.
Fire Chief Phil Dawson, a retired state police officer, has acted as the department’s interim chief since Flagg left.
The department also is hiring to replace Officer Chad Chubbuck and Sgt. Kevin Giberson. Giberson left the department to rejoin the Millinocket Police Department, while Chubbuck said he was fired for failing to comply with the town’s residency requirement, which mandates that officers live within 15 miles of Lincoln.
Town officials had rejected his appeal of the requirement, and he described the parting as amicable.
More officer hirings should occur shortly, Goodwin said.