Augusta Police Chief Robert Gregoire continues to recover at a Boston rehabilitation hospital a month after he was critically injured in a motorcycle crash during an off-duty charity ride, officials said.

City Manager William Bridgeo and Augusta Police Deputy Chief Jared Mills on Monday declined to provide details of the chief’s recovery or condition, but both said they have been in frequent and recent contact with Gregoire and his family.

Citing the family’s request for privacy, officials won’t specify the nature of Gregoire’s injuries, but a report prepared for the crash says he suffered a neck injury, acting Jay Police Chief Richard Caton said shortly after the crash.

“I have had a number of good conversations with him and with (his wife) Cathy,” Bridgeo said Monday. “They are in good spirit.”

Mills is filling in for the chief during his absence. Neither would speculate how long that absence might last.

Bridgeo said members of the department have been gone for extended absences for medical reasons in the past and is prepared to handle Gregoire’s absence for as long as necessary.

“I think Jared (Mills) is a mature and wise individual,” Bridgeo said. “If it starts to get to the point where he needs some extra help he’ll let me know, but I’m not worried about that at the moment.”

Cathy Gregoire and Augusta Police Sgt. Christopher Shaw, both of whom suffered less serious injuries in the crash, also continue to improve. Neither Bridgeo nor Mills would confirm whether Shaw has returned to work for the police department, though Shaw’s name has not appeared in police activity logs since the crash.

Gregoire, 49, was transferred to the Boston rehab hospital, which officials wouldn’t identify, Sept. 22, according to a report Bridgeo provided to city councilors last month. Bridgeo in his report described it “a highly regarded rehabilitation facility in Boston.”

The Gregoires and Shaw, 45, were injured Sept. 6 during a Shriner’s Hospital charity motorcycle ride in Jay. Cathy Gregoire, 47, was a passenger on her husband’s motorcycle when it hit a soft shoulder on Crash Road in Jay and threw both to the ground. Shaw, following the couple, toppled his motorcycle while trying to avoid the crash in front of him.

All three were taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Shaw and Cathy Gregoire were both released within a couple days of the crash, but Robert Gregoire was listed in critical condition.

Bridgeo said the same characteristics that caused Gregoire to rise from the ranks of a police officer to chief have been on full display during his recovery.

“The chief is a tremendously strong man,” Bridgeo said.

“We are blessed at this moment in history with a very talented team in the police department,” Bridgeo said. “Everybody there is stepping up to do their best to make sure there is no interruption in the quality of service. Their competence and patience is really shining through these days.”

Mills said the chief “always ensures the decisions he makes for his department are based upon his staff being prepared and ready to handle any situation. We are prepared to proceed as we are for as long as it takes.”

Bridgeo said Mills’ transition into temporary command was seamless because Gregoire has always included the deputy chief in the decision-making process.

“There were no blind spots where Jared was unaware of issues,” Bridgeo said. “The collaboration among the command staff has always been so good that that’s not a problem.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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