SKOWHEGAN — Citing personal and family issues, Skowhegan Police Chief Ted Blais has resigned from the department’s top job after slightly more than two years.

His final day on the job was Monday. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Blais’ resignation was announced Tuesday night during Town Manager Christine Almand’s routine report to selectmen at their regular meeting.

“I wish him the best of luck in the future,” Almand said.

The board voted 5-0 to accept the resignation with no discussion.

Almand said Deputy Police Chief Donald Bolduc will manage the department until a new police chief is hired.

Blais, 54, took the chief’s position in June 2013, replacing Michael Emmons, and was previously police chief and director of public safety at the University of Maine at Farmington since 2005. He was paid an annual salary of $60,000 plus benefits when he was hired.

“Skowhegan has a lot of spirit,” Blais said in an interview when he was hired. “Many of my students that I have had work for me at UMF come from Skowhegan, and they’re all great kids. That says a lot for Skowhegan. Being hired here is fantastic.”

Emmons left in February 2013 to become chief of police at the VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus in Augusta. Deputy Chief Dan Summers took over in the interim.

Blais took over a department with 13 full-time police officers in a town of about 9,000 people.

Bolduc, 50, a career law enforcement officer, left his job as police chief in Millinocket in 2013 to be a patrol officer in Skowhegan.

Bolduc went from making $55,000 a year as police chief in Millinocket to $15.45 an hour as a patrol officer in Skowhegan.

Then Summers left to take the chief’s job in Lincoln and Bolduc became Skowhegan’s new deputy police chief.

When Bolduc started in Millinocket, its department had 14 full-time police officers, including the chief, a captain and a detective. When he left, there were six officers left.

“The paper mill is completely closed in Millinocket,” Bolduc said at the time about the town, which dropped in population from 8,600 in the late 1990s to 4,300 in 2013. “The effect was devastating. It was very, very significant. At one time there were 11 paper machines working.”

Bolduc said when the paper machines shut down, town government started cutting municipal spending — including salaries — even considering merging its police and fire departments into regional departments.

Blais said when Bolduc applied to be a patrol officer, he and the Skowhegan Board of Selectmen knew they were getting a qualified candidate with 24 years of law enforcement experience.

Blais’ first job as a police officer was in Old Orchard Beach in 1985. He joined the Gorham Police Department the same year and remained there for 20 years, making his way up the ranks to become deputy chief.

Blais,orginaly from Rhode Island, graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in 1985.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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