MILLINOCKET, Maine — Reserve police officer Janet Theriault will become the town’s first female deputy police chief on Jan. 20, Town Manager Peggy Daigle said Monday.
As deputy chief, Theriault will be paid $51,000 annually to help Police and Fire Chief Steve Kenyon administer the police department, which carries seven full-time officers and several more reserves.
Town Council Chairman Richard Angotti Jr. said the move will help redress Kenyon’s assuming halftime administrative responsibilities with the fire department and keep as many officers on patrol as possible.
“As we were going through the process, it came down to putting in someone who could be of greater help administratively,” Daigle said Monday. “As it is right now, they are pretty thin on patrol.”
Kenyon did not immediately return a message left Monday.
Theriault, 48, had been briefly hired by then-Police Chief Donald Bolduc in January 2005 as a full-time officer before reconsidering and staying on as a reserve officer, for personal reasons.
Daigle mentioned Theriault’s hiring in the manager’s report she will give to the council at its meeting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. As town manager, she has the right, under the town charter, to appoint administrative positions, she said.
Councilors probably will concur with her action, Angotti said. Councilors have informally discussed the police and fire department situation since Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte resigned in November, and town leaders opted to replace him with Kenyon, who had replaced Police Chief Donald Bolduc a few months before.
Kenyon became fire chief effective Jan. 1. Councilors and Daigle had praised his becoming police and fire chief as saving about $45,000, plus benefits, by leaving unfilled Turcotte’s $55,000-salaried position. The position’s benefits are worth about 30 percent of the salary, Daigle has said.
It was unclear whether the deputy police chief’s position eliminated that savings. As part of becoming fire chief, Kenyon received a $10,000 raise. Town regulations prohibit naming a director of public safety, Daigle has said.