((Eagle archive, Ben Garver))

ADAMS -- Donald Poirot, the town's police chief of 11 years, plans to retire on April 26.

The 53-year-old Poirot said in an interview on Monday that he believes the department he'll leave behind is stable and well-stocked with "valuable employees."

"I've been there for just over 33 years -- I started when I was 19," Poirot said. "I'm fortunate now to be in a position where it's a good time to take a little time off."

During his career, Poirot worked his way up from patrolman to sergeant to lieutenant and finally chief. He recently completed a two-year stint as president of the Western Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association.

Town Administrator Jonathan Butler, who announced the chief's impending retirement on Monday, said Poirot's ability to take on the latter role speaks to his abilities.

"He's our rock in the department," Butler said in an interview Monday afternoon. "... It's a loss for the community."

The town has "big shoes to fill," Butler added, highlighting Poirot's professionalism, leadership and attention to detail.

"I really consider him to be a very high-level professional in the way he handled his position," Butler said. "He played no favorites and always took things person-by-person, issue-by-issue. You know what you're going to get with the chief. He makes up his own mind independently in a fair and unbiased way."

The police chief is one of two positions, along with the town administrator, appointed by the Board of Selectmen.

Butler said a search committee could be established and a Selectmen's workshop meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday to discuss the process of a hiring for the position.

"In an effort to provide [the Selectmen] with a framework, I've already reached out to a few communities who've gone through the process recently," Butler said.

Poirot, remarking that the station didn't even have a computer when he started there, said he's tried to stay true to the essence of small-town police work while integrating modern technology to the force.

"I've always attempted to stay in touch with all aspects of the community," Poirot said. "A lot of this job [in a small community] is dealing with families, making sure people get proper guidance when they're down and out and playing a part in getting them back to their feet."

Poirot said, in his view, the job is about helping people.

"That's what it's all about," he said, "and I'm hoping my officers learned that from me. It's one thing I always tried to emphasize."

Another, he said, is "keeping personnel held to a very high professional standard."

"I feel that I've been able to achieve that -- we have some very good employees" in the department, he said. "It was one of the things handed down to me from past chiefs."

Poirot, who will retire with a full pension, said right now he plans to relax and enjoy family, but "I'm sure I'll get back into something somewhere down the line."