Montague gets update on police hiring processes

  • Montague Acting Police Chief Chris Williams updated selectmen about hiring reserve officers in the board of selectmen meeting on Monday, July 23. Recorder Staff/Melina Bourdeau

Staff Writer
Published: 7/23/2018 11:33:02 PM

MONTAGUE — Town officials received an update from acting Police Chief Chris Williams about reserve officers during a Selectboard meeting on Tuesday.

Town Manager Steve Ellis also provided an update about the assessment for police chief candidates.

Williams said applications have been distributed for those officers interested in being reserve officers. Currently, the department has 16 full-time officers, 10 part-time officers and five reserve officers, according to Wendy Bogusz, executive assistant to the Selectboard.

Williams said the timeline for hiring potentially two reserve officers would be about four to six weeks.

After the town receives applications and does background checks for the reserve officers, offers would be made to two candidates, Williams said. “Then we would start the process for physical tests.”

Police chief

At the July 9 meeting, the board rescinded appointing acting Police Chief Christopher Bonnett and returned him to lieutenant, then placed him on administrative leave.

The board unanimously appointed Williams as acting chief at the same meeting.

Bonnett was arraigned on Friday, June 29 in Franklin County District Court on a charge of assault and battery on a household member.

Also on July 9, the board appointed John Depsey as an acting sergeant. The board was informed that Dan Minor would be Turners Falls’ new school resource officer.

A full-time officer, Cody Wells, was recently hired. Two full-time officers were hired last year, one in April and the other in June. One of these, Justin Moody, is currently in the police academy and is estimated to graduate on Aug. 3, according to Williams.

Wells will also need to go to the police academy at some point, according to Bogusz.

In other business, the board unanimously approved keeping the fee for the chief candidate assessment at $250. The date of the assessment has yet to be scheduled.

Ellis said in the past, the town has charged $250 per applicant to take the test.

“I do not see a compelling reason to change the rates from the last assessment center that was done,” Ellis said.

Selectman Michael Nelson said on July 9 that he felt confident there was a qualified candidate within the station.

There are four eligible sergeants within the station, and if all four do not apply, the assessment center will be open to qualified officers within the department, according to Bogusz.


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