The City of Biddeford has put the search for its next Chief of Police on hold.
Former Police Chief Roger Beaupre retired from the Police Department in January 2023 after more than 40 years of service in the role of Chief. Beaupre gave notice of his retirement in September 2022, and the City Manager launched an inclusive recruitment process to find a successor.
The City of Biddeford contracted GovHR to provide assistance for a national search for candidates. A nine-person panel consisting of Mayor Alan Casavant, Councilor Doris Ortiz, a representative from the Police Advisory Board, two residents, a representative of the business community, and the City’s Chief Operating Officer and Assistant Assessor reviewed all applications, determined candidates to interview and presented three candidates to the City Manager for final consideration.
The City Manager conducted final interviews in early 2023 with the intention of recommending a final candidate to the Council.
“Though quite a few qualified individuals applied for the position, I ultimately concluded that suspending the process at this time was best for the community and the members of the Biddeford Police Department,” said City Manager James Bennett. “The City is just starting what will be a more challenging budget process than the last few years. That challenge, along with other pressing issues, is contributing to the decision to put the search on hold,” Bennett added.
The City Manager added, “I am also very confident in Interim Police Chief JoAnne Fisk’s continuing ability to lead the department during the transition. I see no reason to rush the process of appointing a new Police Chief knowing that the Department is already in capable hands.”
The exact timing of when the search will resume is uncertain but will be within the next six months. It is expected that a new invitation for qualified candidates will be issued.
Bennett concluded the announcement by stating: “Selecting the right candidate for a position as important as the Chief of Police requires more than law enforcement experience. We are seeking someone whose values align with those that were outlined in resident feedback during the recruitment process, and who will fit in seamlessly with the Department’s culture.”
Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk has served as Interim Police Chief since January and will maintain the role until the search for a Chief is completed.