Police chief announces retirement

Richard Bailey will officially retire at end of the year

Richard Bailey

TOWNSEND – With his 65th birthday approaching next March, Police Chief Richard Bailey announced his plans to retire during Tuesday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

“With my state mandated retirement age approaching in March 2020, I am going to now return to police consulting while working part-time with other agencies that do not have age restrictions,” Bailey’s letter to the community read. “I will be available to assist the town with selecting a new chief and providing transitional support as needed.”

Bailey will assist the town in its search process for a full-time replacement from now until his last day on the force on Dec. 31, 2019.

Massachusetts state law requires police officials to retire at the age of 65.

Town voters previously approved a motion to keep Bailey on as chief until June 30, 2025 at this year’s town meeting on May 7, but Town Administrator James Kreidler said the motion has yet to be accepted by the state.

Bailey originally took the job in April 2017 as a temporary replacement for Robert Eaton, who was fired by the Board of Selectmen around the same time.

The board thanked Chief Bailey for his service, with Board Chair Sue Lisio wishing him a “happy retirement.”

“The transition we’re talking about is between this announcement and the chief’s ultimate transition into retirement,” Kreidler said at the meeting. “There’s a great deal of work that needs to be done in bringing whoever it’s going to be as an interim, whether it’ll just be a next body in the work chart or someone else bringing them up to speed to know what the status of ongoing projects are, things that are big and visionary down to the things that are small and mundane.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to lead the Townsend Police Department and my many interactions with all those that live, work, and visit Townsend,” Bailey’s letter read. “My time here was successful due to the tremendous amount of support from the Townsend businesses, clergy, non-profit groups, schools, community members and other town departments, for that I am thankful.”