AYER — William Murray sat before the Board of Selectmen with almost the entire Police Department behind him as he was unanimously voted in as the new chief of police.
“I’m particularly impressed with the support in the room,” Chairman Carolyn McCreary said during the board’s May 6 meeting.
Murray said he wants to build a partnership with the community and town from residents to business owners to town employees. He also plans to create a monthly cable access show to be called either “Chief Chat” or “Chief’s Moment.”
“I want to update the public on some of the bigger cases the department has been working on,” said Murray. “As well as ask for help with any ongoing investigations.
“I will interview one of the officers to help get their faces out there,” he added. “That’s one thing I have heard is the officers are not known by face, and I want to change that.”
Murray said he also plans to help residents reinvent the Neighborhood Watch program.
“It’s a hard program to get going, but we can help them get started,” said Murray. “Some will want us to run it for them, but we can’t do that. We can help them by giving them information and even letting them use our meeting room if they need to. We’ll help (the neighborhoods), but we won’t run the program for them.”
Another change Ayer residents will see is bicycle patrol through their neighborhoods, as well as downtown.
“We’re already getting the bikes tuned up, so they should be out there in the next couple of weeks,” said Murray. “I’ve also increased foot patrol on Main Street and encouraged the guys to get out of their cruisers and walk around a little while in the neighborhoods.”
Murray joked that he planned to have all these programs implemented in a week and would be ready to start the next round of projects the following week.
Murray, who has been with the department for 20 years, took over as interim police chief after Richard Rizzo retired March 28 to take a new position in Maine.