WINTHROP — After a year as town manager, Ryan Frost is returning to a position that’s familiar to him — and that comes with a blue uniform.

On Monday night, the Winthrop Town Council agreed to appoint Frost, 49, to serve again as chief of the Winthrop Police Department. He previously spent 31 years on the force before being hired as town manager about a year ago.

On Tuesday, Frost said that his decision was not influenced by anything that’s happened in the last year.

“The town manager job is a great job. We have a great community,” Frost said Tuesday. “But my love is really for law enforcement. That’s truly the reason why.”

In the short term, Frost still will act as town manager while also overseeing the Police Department with the assistance of other supervisors. The interim chief of the department, Dan Cook, is retiring this month after stepping into that role last summer.

Soon the town will search for an interim town manager as well as a permanent replacement, said Sarah Fuller, chairwoman of the Town Council. Officials are enlisting the help of the Maine Municipal Association in filling the interim and permanent positions.


According to Fuller, when Frost was hired last year as town manager, he was given the option to return to the Police Department after a year. She praised the work he’s done and said that other council members paid similar compliments on Monday night.

“He totally excels at being town manager,” Fuller said. “I wish we could keep him in more positions. He’s that competent at what he does. I think he feels most at home as police chief.”

When Frost was hired as town manager, he replaced Peter Nielsen, who had resigned because of a tax error that was made in the previous year, leaving the town with a $166,000 shortage and adding to a list of financial woes. Nielsen accepted blame for that error when announcing his resignation.

The Town Council still is determining how long it could take to replace Frost in the manager role, as well as what salary he’ll make back at the Police Department.

His move back is timely, given that the department is short-staffed after Cook’s retirement. The department also is trying to fill one officer’s position.

As town manager, Frost has made a salary of $83,200. As police chief, Cook made a salary of $66,500 this past year.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

Twitter: @ceichacker

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