Alan Brown of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department has been hired as chief of the Southwest Harbor Police Department. FILE PHOTO

Deputy is new Southwest Harbor chief

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A detective with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department has been tapped for the job of police chief.

Alan Brown takes over as the town’s police chief on Oct. 5, town manager Don Lagrange said Tuesday. Brown, an Ellsworth resident, was chosen from a field of 22 applicants.

Brown began his law enforcement career as a part-time deputy with the sheriff’s department in 1988. He went to work there on a full-time basis in 1990 and, in 2001, was promoted to detective sergeant.

Southwest Harbor has been without a police chief since October 2014, when Dave Chapais retired from the position he held for ten years. Since then, Lieutenant Mike Miller has been acting chief of the department.

Lagrange, the town’s five selectmen and two members of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association were involved in the search process. Brown, by far, was the best candidate for the job, Lagrange said.

“He just stood out because of his knowledge, his experience and his vision for out town,” Lagrange said.

Brown and the town have entered into a one-year contract which would be extended to five years by agreement of both parties. He is to be paid $65,000 annually and have the same benefit packages as other town employees, Lagrange said.

A police chief, Brown will have his work cut out for him. He takes over a department that has struggled to attract full-time officers.

“His first task will be to get the department in good shape and gain the respect of the community,” Lagrange said.

The job description developed for the chief search noted that the successful candidate is to work with the town manager “to support a collaborative bid to participate in an island-wide police department in the near future.”

“That’s in the future,” Lagrange said. “We have no idea if [an islandwide force] will even happen.”

Brown last year ran for Hancock County Sheriff as a Republican. He lost that party’s primary election by 166 votes to another deputy, Scott Kane. Kane was unopposed in the general election and elected sheriff.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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