OSSIPEE — The town of Ossipee is looking for a new police chief, and a cowboy hat-wearing former candidate for sheriff has publicly announced he’s the man for the job.
In January 2021, selectmen honored outgoing police chief Joe Duchesne and promoted Lt. Anthony Castaldo to chief.
On Thursday morning, selectmen’s chairman Jonathan Smith explained that Castaldo resigned about three weeks ago, effective Dec. 30, but he didn’t have the exact date of the resignation.
Smith added that the search for candidates has been placed in the hands of Meredith-based Municipal Resources Inc.
Smith, who worked as a police officer in New York City, said he’s looking for a chief who will be “responsive to both the board of selectmen and the public.”
Wednesday was the last day to apply, according to the ad on mrigov.com. The salary listed was up to $90,000.
“The police chief reports to the board of selectmen through the town administrator and will be expected to maintain excellent communications with them. The chief leads a department of eight full-time officers, three part-time officers and a full-time administrative assistant with an operating budget of $1,250,000. Given the size of the department, the chief may be required to respond for calls as necessary,” states the ad. “Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in related field (master’s preferred) and at least 10 years of progressively responsible police experience; or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.”
On Wednesday, former Carroll County sheriff’s candidate Justin Worthley announced his intention to fill the vacancy left by Castaldo’s vacancy.
“I was encouraged to apply for the open chief position so I have. The promises made as a sheriff candidate will be the same as a chief,” said Worthley. “If chosen, I will create a department that both the staff and the community will be proud of. One of the first steps will be establishing 24-hour coverage so the thefts I keep seeing posts about will decrease or disappear. I’ll work midnights myself if I have to.”
He encouraged supporters to reach out to the selectmen or the firm handling the process, and he’d love to have a conversation with those who don’t support him.
In September’s Republican primary, Sheriff Domenic Richardi (R-Conway) faced a challenge by Justin Worthley (R-Wakefield) and Richardi easily defeated him, 4,423-2,248.
Worthley is originally from Rochester, and his decade-long law enforcement career was spent with the Rochester and Pittsfield police. He has been living in Wakefield since the end of last year.
The Sun asked Worthley what he learned on the campaign trail that would help him in Ossipee.
“The thing I observed the most is that a majority of the public doesn’t understand what a sheriff’s office does or can do,” said Worthley. “That applies to law enforcement in general and, most people don’t know much about how their agencies operate. That’s something I aim to correct.”
During an appearance at the Gibson Center for Senior Services in North Conway last fall, Worthley said he wanted to fight the drug epidemic and he also yielded some of his speaking time to a homeless man named William Humphreys.
After Humphreys spoke, Worthley said, “Communities need to do better. ... No veteran should be sleeping in the woods, no person should have to live like that.”
Worthley was a strong opponent of mask mandates. On the campaign trail, he bragged about nearly getting into a “fistfight” at Concord Hospital over not being able to enter without a mask. He left before the conflict became physical. He was there to drop off a patient while he was working for Pittsfield Police.
In August, Worthley got into an Instagram argument with a Terry Foster, a Michigan man, who chose to have his baby vaccinated against COVID-19.
Worthley chimed in from his worthley4ccsheriffnh account calling Foster a “terrible parent.”
Reached for comment, Worthley said that he “could have been more articulate” in the exchange but added that there has been “a huge amount of injuries surrounding the COVID vaccine.
“I have had people I know die or be permanently injured by it,” said Worthley.
Asked about Worthley, Smith said he doesn’t know Worthley. “He can apply like anybody else,” said Smith.