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Frank Morrill is sworn in as Rindge's new permanent police chief Friday afternoon. (Meghan Pierce)

After a search, Rindge makes interim police chief permanent

RINDGE - Residents crowded into the Selectmen's Room at the town offices Friday afternoon to see their new police chief sworn in.

New Police Chief Frank Morrill is an eight-year veteran of the town police department and has been interim chief since former police chief Michael Sielicki resigned seven months ago.

With his right hand raised, Morrill said, "Sounds like a wedding vow," after Town Clerk Nancy Martin read him his oath. After the laughter subsided Morrill said, "I do."

Along with Morrill, two other officers were promoted in the Friday ceremony. Dan Anair was promoted from detective to sergeant and Jeff Seppala was promoted from officer to detective.

Selectman Jed Brummer started the ceremony with a moment of silence for the people of Newtown and Sandy Hook, Conn.

"It's not often in the town of Rindge we get to honor three officers at the same time. We're looking forward to their service and I think Rindge is damn proud of all the work you do for the town," Brummer said.

After the policemen were sworn in, each had their new badges, denoting their new ranks, pinned on their chests by their wives.

Morrill thanked the residents for attending the ceremony.

"I'm very proud of everybody that works here, very proud. We've got a great bunch of folks here. There's a lot of talent dedication and loyalty here. A lot of education here," Morrill said.

He said the department would work together with the community and Franklin Pierce University to meet the needs of the town.

Morrill was chosen out of 82 candidates that applied for the position.

Though Morrill was popular with residents, the select board hired Meredith consulting firm Municipal Resources Inc. to conduct a search for a new chief. Residents were asked for input by means of a survey.

At the end of the process, Morrill was one of four candidates recommended to the select board and were interviewed by the select board.

"No credit was given to Frank as interim chief," Brummer said. "Out of 82 candidates, he rose to the top."

During the search process that cost the town $4,500, a group of residents circulated a petition in support of Morrill. Despite the support for Morrill from the community before he was chosen, Brummer said a thorough search was important and well worth the money. The town can now rest easy knowing it did its due diligence and found the best person for the job, he said.

Morrill said he was grateful for the community support, which made him work harder through the process because he didn't want to let anyone down.

The department is now focused on filling two vacancies for a full-time officer and a part-time officer as well as working to retain current officers, he said.

Morrill, 48, started his police career as a patrol officer in Peterborough in 1991. He was hired by the town of Rindge to be a police sergeant eight years ago.

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