Gouldsboro has hired a new police chief to lead a small department that has had three chiefs since early 2016 and has survived two votes since 2019 over whether to dissolve.

Patrick McNulty is expected to begin his duties as the police chief on Aug. 4, after the town offered him the job earlier this month, according to Eve Wilkinson, Gouldsboro’s interim town manager. She said McNulty is “familiar” with Maine but did not have additional details.

McNulty is in the process of moving to Gouldsboro, she said.

Unlike his predecessors over the past 20 years, McNulty is coming to the position without already having worked for the town as a patrol officer. He has 25 years of experience in law enforcement at the municipal, state and federal levels, according to a bio provided by the town.

He served as detective sergeant with the Providence Police Department in Rhode Island, supervisor in the Narcotics and Organized Crime Bureau and the inspector of criminal investigations with the Rhode Island attorney general’s office. His experience also includes working as a full-time task force agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI, and heading an investigative task force relating to public and police corruption.

McNulty retired from law enforcement in 2011, according to the Ellsworth American. Since then, he has worked as dean of students for Johnson and Wales University and as a hospitality business consultant in Costa Rica. He co-founded the Ocean Rescue for Tamarindo beach lifeguard program in Costa Rica.

He has three children and five grandchildren, and enjoys surfing, biking and running.

McNulty will replace former Chief John Shively, who resigned in early May. Shively had been ordered by the town last year to undergo sexual harassment training after he was accused of sexually harassing another town employee. Around the same time, then-Officer Eli Brown and fellow Patrolman Adam Brackett told town officials they had no confidence in Shively, who was promoted to run the department of three officers, including the chief position, in October 2019.

Shively and Brackett, who remains a police officer with the town, were taken off duty for several weeks in March and April while the town sought to resolve disputes within the department, according to the Ellsworth American. Former police Chief Glenn Grant was brought in temporarily to help run the department, while the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office handled emergency calls for the town, the newspaper reported.

McNulty’s hiring comes roughly a month after Gouldsboro residents voted against dissolving the department and contracting for regular law enforcement patrols with the sheriff’s office. It was the second time since 2019 that local voters decided not to disband the department.

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....