PEPPERELL — Selectmen offered and former police Lt. David Scott accepted the position of police chief during closed door discussions March 15, town administrator John Moak announced Tuesday.
Scott would have been automatically second in command upon former Police Chief Alan Davis’s March 12 retirement according to protocol. Selectmen offered and Scott agreed to negotiate for the position of interim police chief while a search was made. Those negotiations have been the subject of two closed-door meetings.
A press release distributed Tuesday stated that it had become apparent to selectmen that Scott’s leadership, education and experience was of a caliber necessary to be appointed permanent chief. Given his credentials and ability to offer immediate budget reductions, selectmen concluded it is in the best interest of the town to promote the lieutenant.
Davis’ $123,000 salary had added educational incentives. Scott’s salary will be set at $110,000 per year for the next two-and-a-half years and include educational incentives and all other considerations. The move saves the town approximately $13,000, Moak said Tuesday.
He said an outside search had been planned but the expense, the potential salary and benefit package, and time involved without the town having a permanent chief weighed heavily on the board’s decision to offer Scott the job.
“The board felt that Lt. Scott showed leadership and fiscal accountability in working toward a contract that is all inclusive,” the press release read. “They are pleased that Lt. Scott meets (their) high level of expectation, and the selectmen look forward to a seamless transition of command at the Pepperell Police Department.”
Moak said selectmen, adamant that the next chief be qualified, could not justify the expense of an outside search when an eminently qualified individual was already on hand.
Scott has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in criminal justice and criminology, graduating cum laude with a 4.0 grade-point average. He has a graduate certificate in criminal justice leadership and policy development as well as in forensic criminology.
He was raised in Pepperell, is a North Middlesex Regional School District graduate and began his police career more than 20 years ago as an auxiliary officer. He has served as lieutenant since 2005 and has been officer in charge during the chief’s absences.
“(He) has the experience, education and training to assume the position of police chief and is dedicated and committed to moving the department forward and maintaining the professionalism I have expected throughout the years,” Davis had told selectmen.
According to his resume, Scott’s duties as lieutenant included supervising of four sergeants, nine patrol officers and one detective, overseeing all investigations and prosecutions, and acting as training coordinator, computer systems manager, internal affairs investigator and certification manager.
Recently Scott rewrote the department directive manual, implemented performance evaluations, created and analyzed an internal survey to improve function and communication, and assisted with several phases of school-safety improvements.
He has been commanding officer during major incidents, including during regional North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council call-outs. He has participated in multiagency investigations that resulted in seizure of thousands of dollars worth of drugs, weapons and contraband, been involved in the sergeant promotion process, created a reserve liaison position and is responsible for changes currently in progress.