FRYEBURG, Maine — Fryeburg has a new police chief.
Aaron Mick of Wilton, Maine, will replace Joshua Potvin, who resigned at the end of July. Mick, who was chief in Dixfield, Maine, will start Dec. 4.
Potvin was placed on paid administrative leave May 18. The reasons are unclear but reportedly started with a complaint by Teamsters Local 340.
Fryeburg Police Lt. Mike McAllister has been serving as acting chief.
On Nov. 3, residents in Dixfield — which is about 35 miles northwest of Lewiston — voted to disband their police force and go with sheriff coverage in a cost-cutting move, according to WGME CBS 13. However, Fryeburg officials said that decision played no part in their hiring Mick.
Fryeburg Town Manager Katie Haley introduced Mick to selectmen at their Zoom meeting last Thursday. She thanked McAllister for his work and the rest of the officers for their commitment to the department.
To select Mick, the town worked with the Maine Chiefs of Police Association Executive Director Ed Toland, who is police chief in Falmouth. Helping sort the candidates and interview them were Farmington Police Chief Jack Peck Jr., Cape Elizabeth Police Chief Paul Fenton and Auburn Police Chief Jason Moen.
The group selected the top two, background checks were done and Haley met with the two candidates. Haley said the traits she looked for were he ability to work with other agencies, a desire to interact with the community, team building skills and an ability to follow department policies and make sure officers do the same.
“I believe the top candidate to be capable of this and much more,” she said, noting Mick has a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Western New England University and has had a 34-year career. He served in a command/supervisory role in the Dover, Mass., police department for 21 years before moving to Maine.
“Chief Mick has both formal education and hands-on experience,” said Haley in an email to the Sun Monday. “Furthermore, his congenial nature throughout the process really made me believe that he would be a good fit in our town.”
Dover police sent their congratulations. “His unwavering dedication to service and community will undoubtedly lead to his continued success,” their message said.
He has an associates degree in criminal justice from Quincy College which he earned form 1992 to 1994 and he also has a bachelors of criminal justice from Western New England University which he earned from 2004 to 2006.
Selectmen approved Mick 5-0. He will be paid $68,000, which is the same salary Potvin earned.
“I hope all the citizens realized that this was not an easy decision,” said Selectman Jim Dutton. “It was a very thorough process. Everybody was given consideration. They had excellent applications come in and out and rose to the top and that’s why we hired him.”
Mick spoke briefly to the board.
“I’m not a stranger to Fryeburg; my wife and I have a camp in Poland,” said Mick. “And we come to Fryeburg Fair annually. I’ve been for 30 some odd years now. And back in my younger days I had a friend that had a camp on Kezar Lake. So I’ve been up there quite a bit.”
Wilton is about an hour and 45 minutes northeast of Fryeburg. Mick said he’s going to move closer to Fryeburg.
Dixfield is a town of about 2,550, according to the 2010 census. It’s located just east of Rumford.
The Rumford Falls Times reported in August that Mick resigned in late July or early August after being there about a year. Around that time, Town Manager Dustin Starbuck told the paper the department had just one full-time officer. The paper reported Mick left because of the difficulty in finding new officers.
Haley and selectmen said that the situation in Dixfield was looked at during the hiring, and they determined it had nothing to do with Mick.
“I think there were lots of obstacles in Dixfield,” Haley said.
Teamsters Union Local No. 340 Agent Traci St. Clair issued a statement Monday saying, “Teamsters Local 340 looks forward to working with the new police chief in Fryeburg and moving on to a new chapter. This department has hardworking, competent officers. It is our hope that Chief Mick will work with the staff to strengthen and expand their expertise, unite the department, repair damaged relations internally and externally, and bring professionalism to the position.”