Work status unclear for Jeffrey Coe, Dalton's 8-year police chief

Dalton Police Chief Jeffrey Coe, left, and Massachusetts State Police Trooper Andrew Canata give an overview on school safety during the a meeting held at Nessacus Regional Middle School in 2018. Coe's status with the Dalton Police Department is now unclear.

DALTON — The head of Dalton's police department is off the job he's held for eight years, for reasons the town will not explain.

Kenneth Walto, Dalton's town manager, declined to answer questions about the work status of Police Chief Jeffrey Coe, calling it a personnel matter.

"At least at this point I'm not going to comment," Walto said.

Walto also declined to say whether Coe, 45, is on a leave of absence.

Two listed telephone numbers for Coe were not in service this week. Attempts to reach him at his work and personal email addresses were unsuccessful. A message left Wednesday for Coe at the department was not returned.

The Select Board has entered into executive sessions several times during recent meetings, citing negotiations and litigation. It is not known whether any of those closed-door meetings concerned Coe or his management of the police department.

Normally, Coe attends Select Board meetings, many of which are held one floor above the department. According to board records, Coe did not attend meetings held Jan. 27 and Feb. 10, the most recent for which minutes are available to the public.

Executive sessions were held at the end of both of those meetings.

Coe's name was not listed Thursday as a plaintiff or defendant in databases for either the Berkshire Superior Court or the federal court system.

Coe was named Dalton's chief in February 2012 after running the department as acting chief following the retirement of former Chief John W. Bartels Jr.

Before taking command of the department, Coe served the Dalton department as a sergeant and in other capacities. He holds a bachelor's degree from Westfield State University and a master's degree in criminal science from Western New England University.