STOCKBRIDGE -- With only a few days remaining before the national search for a new police chief closes, the town has received 26 applications "from all over," said Town Administrator Jorja-Ann Marsden on Wednesday.
Among the 26 applicants are two from the Stockbridge police department and several from elsewhere in Berkshire County, Marsden said, adding that because of confidentiality rules, she could not disclose their identities.
The deadline for applications to succeed Chief Richard B. "Rick" Wilcox is Sept. 30.
Wilcox is stepping down in mid-February at the state-mandated retirement age of 65 after serving in the police force since May 1971 and as chief since September 1985. The only other Berkshire County police chief with longer tenure is William Walsh, Jr., of Great Barrington.
The local search committee is headed by Deborah McMenamy, a longtime Select Board member. Under a $9,850 contract, the town is working with Public Safety Consultants of Shrewsbury, Conn.
Others on the committee are Town Moderator Gary Johnston, former merchant Stephanie Bradford, former teacher Tracy Weston, Richard Bradway, associate director of e-commerce and new media for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and J. Martin Salvadore, retired president of Wheeler & Taylor, Inc. All are Stockbridge natives and longtime residents.
Resumes will be reviewed and dates set for interviews with candidates, said Marsden, calling the position a crucial one for the town. Applications are accepted via e-mail at email@example.com through next Monday.
Wilcox, who posed for Norman Rockwell as a Boy Scout in the 1960s, has made it clear that he wants to avoid any retirement party or "hoopla" when he leaves his post.
"It's hard not to abide by the chief's wishes," McMenamy commented.
"There's a lot more to life than work and I want to move on to other challenges," Wilcox told The Eagle when he announced his retirement plans last June.
"Every town has a personality, a culture," he added. "You want a good match of those with a candidate who has a philosophical view of how the police chief's job should be done."
To contact Clarence Fanto:
firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter; @BE_cfanto