STOCKBRIDGE — West Stockbridge Police Chief Thomas Rubino will be stepping down following his appointment by the Stockbridge Select Board as a patrolman working for Chief Darrell Fennelly.
"Tom is a full-time trained officer who comes with a lot of experience and will be able to come on in a short amount of time without having to go through full-time police academy, which he attended six years ago," Fennelly told board members at their Monday night meeting. "Of course, that would save the town a great deal of money to not have to put Tom through that training."
Selectman Stephen Shatz commented that "it's a bit unusual for a police chief to aspire to the role of patrolman."
Rubino, who has served five and a half years as chief in West Stockbridge following a stint there as a patrolman, told board members that he has 15 years of experience in law enforcement.
"Just to dispel some things about chief's position to patrol, with me it's not really about rank, it's about making a difference whether it's as a leader or part of a team," Rubino said. "So I saw some opportunity here. I'm definitely grounded here with a family and kids in the school system."
"I took the job to make a difference in the community which I now work in," he pointed out, adding that now he was "looking for something new."
Rubino told the selectmen that he had asked Fennelly if he would be interested "in taking on someone of my experience to become part of his team here in Stockbridge."
Fennelly, adding that he has known Rubino for years, cited Rubino's credentials as well as personal qualities and described him as "a good fit for our town."
Fennelly also explained that the routine background check and medical clearance for Rubino would be performed following approval of his conditional appointment.
"We've reviewed his resume, it looks good," said Select Board Chairman Ernest "Chuckie" Cardillo, who's also the town's fire chief.
Rubino responded that his personal goals are to continue in law enforcement and "contribute to an already working police department. I think I have things I can contribute and work with the chief and the officers."
He also emphasized his priority — "to become the best officer you can be, to provide public safety to the best of your training, ability and experience for the town you're in."
The Select Board voted 3-0 to offer the position to Rubino on condition that he passes the background check and medical exam.
Under the terms of the new Stockbridge police union contract taking effect on July 1, Rubino will be earning base pay of $63,090 annually, about the same as his post in West Stockbridge, plus overtime.
Whether Rubino has submitted a letter of resignation in West Stockbridge could not be learned immediately, since he was on a day off Tuesday, and the town's part-time administrative assistant Mark Webber does not work on Tuesdays.
Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.