More than 2 dozen want to be top cop in Lanesborough

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LANESBOROUGH — At least two dozen — and counting — people want to be the town's new police chief.

To date, the Select Board has received 26 applications from those seeking to succeed Police Chief Timothy Sorrell, his resignation effective mid-July.

Town officials say the application deadline is April 30 with the hope of hiring a new chief by July 1.

"The large number of applicants are not all qualified, but the response has been encouraging," Town Manager Kelli Robbins wrote in an email to The Eagle.

Sorrell submitted his letter of resignation to the Select Board in January, primarily citing personal reasons for leaving the job. The Lenox native and Marine veteran has spent his entire career in Lanesborough, the last five years as the town's top cop. He earns an annual salary of $88,000, with three years-plus remaining on his contract.

On Tuesday, the board filled the final spot on the five-person police chief search committee. Chairman John Goerlach absent, Select Board members Gordon Hubbard and Henry "Hank" Sayers appointed Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn to the panel.

"The chief will be an excellent resource," Hubbard told The Eagle.

Hubbard, Lanesborough Police Sgt. Brad Lepicier and town residents Thomas Voisin and William Keating round out the committee.

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Previously, the Select Board had decided a current or retired police chief, Lanesborough police officer, one of the Select Board members and two citizens would make up the committee.

The ad hoc group is charged with scoring each application based on a set of criteria and narrowing the field to three finalists.

If any committee member has a personal relationship with any of the police chief hopefuls, he must disclose it but is still allowed to review the applicant's resume, according to the committee's guidelines.

The panel will forward its trio of recommendations to the three Select Board members who will interview each candidate in a public forum. Robbins anticipates those question-and-answer sessions happening in June.

The new chief will inherit a Police Department that Sorrell has often advocated for, especially the need to be fully staffed to serve some 3,000 residents; Lanesborough has five full-time and nine part-time officers.

Sorrell's successor will be the town's fifth police chief since the department was created in the early 1960s. Sorrell was appointed by the Select Board in May 2015 to succeed F. Mark Bashara.

Lanesborough also needs to determine whether to build a new police station, convert an existing building or continue to renovate the current one. Sorrell said he'll continue to give his input on the police station issue after retirement.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshioreeagle.com.


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