WATERVILLE — Deputy police Chief Charles Rumsey is leaving the Police Department in early June to become police chief for the town of Cumberland.

Rumsey, who accepted the Cumberland position Thursday morning, has been with the Waterville department more than 21 years, nine as deputy chief.

“It’s going to be bittersweet to leave here,” Rumsey said Thursday afternoon. “I’m extremely proud of the time I served here and I’m very excited to take the skills and experience I’ve had here and bring it to the town of Cumberland.”

Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey praised Rumsey and his work and said he has mixed emotions about seeing him go.

“The selfish part of me wishes he had not been offered the position, because I’m losing a very capable, competent police administrator,” Massey said. “But on the other side, I realize he’s a professional and he wants to be a chief, and this is the right time for him and he needs to do what’s best for him and his family and his career.”

Cumberland Town Manager Bill Shane said Thursday that town officials were seeking a strong leader for the chief’s position — someone who understands community policing — and Rumsey’s training, skills, experience and professionalism shone in their dealings with him.

“It was pretty much a home run for us,” Shane said. “We’re just doing cartwheels. He is just a class act.”

Rumsey was chosen from among 12 candidates for the position and did an outstanding job in the interview process, including in a public presentation Wednesday to town and school officials, according to Shane. He said the application process was rigorous and five candidates were interviewed.

Rumsey starts his new job June 6 and will replace Joe Charron, who retired April 1 after 38 years with the department, according to Shane. In Cumberland, population 7,500, Rumsey will oversee a department of 11 full-time officers and an animal control officer, Shane said. It is a smaller department than Waterville’s, which has 31 sworn officers.

Rumsey, 45, worked his way up through the ranks in Waterville, where the population is about 16,000, but that number doubles during the day as people come to work and recreate in the city. Rumsey was hired in 1995 as a patrol officer after graduating from University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice studies. He was a patrol officer more than three years and then was promoted to detective and investigated major crimes including sexual assaults, bank robberies, child abuse and drug cases. In 2002, he was named patrol sergeant and in 2007, deputy chief.

While in Waterville, he took advantage of the tuition reimbursement program offered by the city and earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Maine in 2009. He also attended the FBI Academy in 2010 in Quantico, Virginia.

His duties as deputy chief in Waterville included overseeing day-to-day operations of the department and supervising members of the management team, including four patrol sergeants and a detective-sergeant, as well as a communications center sergeant. He also organized and managed the hiring and promotion processes, handled complaints and was involved in the community, serving on the advisory committee for High Hopes Clubhouse for people with mental illnesses and helping to develop the Children’s Advocacy Center.

Rumsey said he plans to move with his wife, Cindy, and son, C.J., to southern Maine, probably within the next three months. They have an older son, Matthew, who is graduating from college this year.

City Manager Michael Roy and Massey said they will start a process for Rumsey’s replacement. Massey said the position will be filled from within the department.

Roy said he is happy for Rumsey but sorry to see him go.

“Cumberland’s gain is certainly Waterville’s loss,” he said. “Chip has been a big reason why our police department has progressed and matured as much as it has and has been recognized, certainly, as one of the premier police agencies to work in.”

Roy said he always felt comfortable, if Massey was out of the office, that Waterville had the right person in charge of the Police Department and that Rumsey would be on top of things.

“I always felt very comfortable that Chip would have full command of the department and we weren’t going to lose a step,” Roy said. “And we certainly wish him the best. We will definitely miss him.”

Massey said Rumsey has been a strong asset to the department and has served it and the city well. Rumsey, he said, has been an ambassador for not only the police but also the city, and he is well known in law enforcement as a competent, professional police administrator.

He said he wishes Rumsey luck and will miss him.

“I could not have had a better second in command than Chip Rumsey — there’s no question.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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