WATERVILLE — Detective Sgt. William Bonney has been named deputy chief of the Waterville Police Department, replacing Charles Rumsey, who leaves Tuesday to become chief of the Cumberland Police Department.

Bonney, 40, will take the position June 6 after working his way up through the ranks at the police department during his 18 years there. He started as a patrol officer in 1998, became the first South End police officer in 2003, was promoted to detective two years later and then became patrol sergeant in 2007, communications sergeant in 2009 and detective sergeant in 2013.

Bonney, who was named 2016 Police Officer of the Year by the Maine Association of Police, will earn an annual salary of $92,000, including benefits.

In announcing the promotion Friday, police Chief Joseph Massey said five sergeants applied for the deputy police chief’s position and all were well-qualified so he was faced with a difficult decision. Bonney, he said, has held every position in the department and understands the four divisions, how they work and what is expected of each, which will help him to be successful as deputy chief.

“He’s done a great job. He’s dedicated, committed to his job and this community,” Massey said.

Bonney, of Fairfield, said he is excited about the new opportunity.

“It’s very humbling,” Bonney said Friday. “There were five very good candidates that put in for the position and to be selected out of five, to be considered, it’s a great honor, and I’m looking forward to working together with the chief and city officials and the community to continue to make Waterville a great place to live and work.”

Like Bonney, Rumsey, 45, of Winslow, worked his way up in the police department and has worked there 21 years. He starts his new job June 6 as Cumberland chief and was chosen from among 12 candidates for that position.

Massey said Bonney will have some big shoes to fill in replacing Rumsey, but he is confident Bonney will step into the job, which includes overseeing day-to-day operations of the administrative, communications, patrol and detective divisions to make sure they run smoothly and efficiently. The police department has 42 full-time employees, including 31 sworn officers. The chief and deputy chief positions are the only non union jobs in the department.

Bonney will be responsible for personnel issues, policy, budgeting and handling union negotiations.

“He will be a popular face out there in the public,” Massey said. “I expect he will be giving public presentations and certainly be very much involved in the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, so it’s a job that has, obviously, a lot of responsibility to it.”

CONSIDERABLE EXPERIENCE

Bonney already has considerable experience working with the public. As the department’s first South End police officer, he had an office in the South End area of the city from 2003 to 2005, reported to that office every day, worked closely with landlords, business people, families and children and mediated disputes between residents, among other duties.

The South End officer position continues today, although only at half capacity as the original position was possible through a grant that has run out, according to Massey.

More recently, Bonney oversaw the investigation into former Waterville Senior High School Principal Don Reiter, who was terminated last year by the Waterville Board of Education after an 18-year-old student alleged Reiter asked to have sex with her on the first day of school last August. Bonney was at a conference in Southern Maine during the investigation, and two women approached him to tell him Reiter had inappropriate relationships with them while he was a school official and they were students in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, many years ago. Bonney traveled to New Ipswich and interviewed the women and returned to Waterville.

After information about the New Hampshire women became public, the Waterville school board fired Reiter.

On April 11, Bonney spoke at a forum at Thomas College about responding to sexual violence in the community. The event was hosted by the Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center, with which Bonney has worked closely. Bonney spoke at the forum about the importance of supporting victims and making sure they get the services they need.

He also spoke about how damaging it is to blame victims in public, drawing on the experience of watching many of those who attended Reiter’s public hearings in Waterville lavish praise on Reiter and sometimes clap as he entered the room — before the New Hampshire allegations became public.

‘REALLY EXCELLED AT ALL POSITIONS’

Bonney grew up in Falmouth, graduated from Falmouth High School in 1994 and received a bachelor’s degree in criminology from University of Southern Maine in 1998. He earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University in 2014.

In addition to receiving the Police Officer of the Year Award, Bonney was honored by the governor’s office in 2012 for his work with Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence; received the 2011 National Law Enforcement Gold Medal Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars; was named Greater Waterville Area Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2005; and was added to the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA Inspirational Hall of Fame in 2005.

In 2004, he was given the City of Waterville Employee of the Year Award and in 2003, he was awarded both the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program Community Spirit Award and City of Waterville Community Award.

Massey said Bonney is skilled in handling investigations, many of which are complex, involving sexual assaults, robberies, homicides and other crimes. He also was written a number of articles that have been published on topics including managing a small investigative unit and community policing.

“Bill really excelled in all the positions, so as we went through the deputy chief process, at the end of the day, I had to sit down and make a difficult decision,” Massey said. “I had to select the best person I thought would fit that position overall, in addition to working well with me. For me, that choice was Bill.”

Bonney said he looks forward to working with Massey.

“I’m very excited to work as his second in command and learn from him how to be a great police administrator,” he said.

Massey is expected to name Bonney’s replacement as detective-sergeant next week.

Meanwhile, Massey announced later Friday that patrol officer Jason Longley was promoted to sergeant. Hired in 2011 as a patrol officer, Longley excelled in his duties and his supervisors recognized him as a competent officer who demonstrated exceptional skills in patrol procedures and investigations, according to Massey. Longley was promoted to detective in February last year and quickly developed critical skills needed to be a successful investigator, Massey said.

“The combination of his professional experience and education will no doubt enable Sgt. Longley to be a successful and talented supervisor,” Massey said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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