EGREMONT -- Interim Police Chief Brian Shaw, an Egremont native who originally launched his career with his hometown department in 1984, has signed a three-year contract to serve as the town's police chief.
The contract, which Shaw signed during the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, starts with a $65,000 salary, increases to $70,000 the next year, and then increases in line with other department officers before expiring on June 30, 2016.
"I appreciate the support I've received from residents and it's an opportunity for me to go back and work and serve in the community I grew up in," Shaw said on Tuesday.
Shaw, 53, will begin working full time on Jan. 1, 2014. Hired part time in the spring, Shaw joined the department as a Stockbridge Police Department veteran who has worked with the department since 1989. He worked for the Egremont Police Department from 1984 to 1989.
He replaces former Police Chief Reena Bucknell, who was suspended in February following a vote of no confidence from her officers and then fired in September after she didn't sign a severance agreement.
Following the turmoil from earlier in the year, the board welcomed the hiring as a new chapter for the department.
"I think it will be good for Egremont that he will know the town and the people," Selectwoman Mary Brazie said on Tuesday. "He's been able to see how the town has grown. He's aware of all our past problems and hopefully he can bring us to a future without problems."
She added, "He has proven that he can lead our department."
Selectmen in October threw their support behind the interim chief, but Shaw has kept mum about his intentions because he also was a candidate to replace Stockbridge Police Chief Richard Wilcox. The Stockbridge Select Board voted last week to hire a veteran Rhode Island officer, Robert Eaton, Jr.
In a phone interview, Wilcox described Shaw as a "down-to-earth" officer with "good common sense, and no airs and he does the job and he gets along with everyone."
"I think it's a win-win for them," he said.
Shaw's contract will need to be approved at the next annual town meeting. The contract includes 10 paid vacation days for the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year. That will increase to 20 days starting in fiscal year 2015. His contract includes 30 sick days for the current fiscal year and future years.
Shaw said growing up in Egremont will provide him an advantage. His priority is to fulfill recommendations in a recent independent review of the department, including improving training and creating better relations with the community.
"I am looking forward to serving the community I grew up in," he said.