Groton to begin police chief search next week

Groton - The town will advertise for a new police chief next week with the goal of interviewing candidates in September, Town Manager Mark Oefinger told the Town Council Tuesday.

The town human resources department with help from the Connecticut Police Chief Association will oversee recruitment. The association assembles panels of current and retired chiefs to review applications and interview candidates. Another panel would grade candidates and forward names of those deemed "qualified" or "highly qualified" to the town manager.

Former Town Police Chief Michael Crowley retired on Feb. 3 after having left work for four weeks for personal reasons. (Editor's note: This corrects an earlier version.) On Jan. 24, Oefinger placed Crowley on administrative leave for medical reasons.

Deputy Chief Steven Smith has been running the department since Crowley left.

The town and the police union are in the middle of two arbitration proceedings related to Police Officer Kathleen Doyle. The Town Council was briefed on that pending litigation in executive session Tuesday.

Doyle, 56, filed a federal lawsuit against the town in April, claiming age and gender discrimination, and retaliation by her supervisors for filing a complaint against them.

d.straszheim@theday.com

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