Orange chief addresses transition
ORANGE — Outgoing Police Chief Robert Haigh Jr. has formally requested release from his contract and is recommending the Selectboard appoint Sgt. Craig Lungren as provisional chief until a permanent chief is hired.
Haigh told the Selectboard he wants to start work in Greenfield in 30 days, but as his contract stipulates he must give 90 days notice, they must approve the early release.
While the Selectboard set a formal process to discuss the issue, they all supported Haigh in taking the new opportunity leading a department that is several times the size of the Orange Police Department.
“It’s extremely important to go after things you want to get,” Selectboard member David Ames told Haigh.
Selectboard Chairwoman Kathy Reinig said when she learned of Haigh’s job offer, “I was incredibly happy for you and incredibly sad for us.”
Haigh said in an interview after the meeting, “I am really looking forward to this new opportunity ... it’s a really big challenge, but I’m certainly up for that challenge.”
Haigh read a letter at the Wednesday meeting thanking the selectmen, Town Administrator Diana Schindler and his colleagues for their support in his work in Orange.
“I have to say, through thick and thin, the officers of our department, and Administrative Assistant Brenda Anderson, the professionalism was always first class, and front and center.”
The board voted Wednesday to open the contract and met in executive session that night to discuss strategy around the negotiation.
They will meet again on Monday in open session to announce the results of their executive session.
The Selectboard will also consider Haigh’s recommendation of Lungren. Haigh said Lungren “already has the respect of the officers and is well known and respected in town.” He said that he and Lungren worked closely over the past 18 months Haigh has been chief.