Richmond police Chief Scott MacMaster plays with critters Monday at his Richmond farm. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

HALLOWELL — Former Richmond Police Chief Scott MacMaster will be Hallowell’s next police chief, following a vote Monday night.

The motion was made by Councilor Diana Scully following a two-and-a-half hour executive session. The vote was 6-1, with Councilor Maureen Aucoin dissenting.

She declined to comment on why she cast a dissenting vote after the meeting, but said she had not “seen any terms of the contract.”

“Although it’s important to me as a councilor to explain and openly discuss my vote with constituents, I am bound by confidentiality rules in certain situations relating to personnel,” Aucoin said. “I wish I could offer more.”

The Hallowell City Council meets Monday via ZOOM. Kennebec Journal image by Sam Shepherd

Following the vote, Mayor Mark Walker said it came at the end of a “thorough process” and thanked the city’s legal team, which was represented at the meeting by City Solicitor Amy Tchao, for its investigation into the matter.

When asked to clarify what investigation was needed, Walker said Tuesday that the council wanted “to make sure it got this appointment right.”

“Our City’s legal firm has assisted a number of cities and towns with thorough reference checks and (did) so for Hallowell in this case,” he said in an email. “MacMaster was unanimously recommended by a Search Committee I appointed, and then nominated by City Manager (Nate) Rudy for the position.”
Rudy said MacMaster was one of two candidates interviewed by the search committee.
That committee included former Hallowell mayor and current state Rep. Charlotte Warren; Councilor Diana Scully, who is chairperson of the Personnel and Policy Committee; Police Chief Eric Nason and Rudy. Walker said Warren was selected for the committee because she was a member of the legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.
Rudy said MacMaster will be paid $64,760 annually.
MacMaster said there was some hold up in his appointment because the city wanted to do a “more thorough background check.”

His law enforcement career began in Hallowell, where in 1994 he became an officer at the Hallowell Police Department. From 1999 to 2007, MacMaster worked as a police officer in Gardiner before being hired as police chief in Greenville in 2007. He accepted the chief’s position in Richmond in 2010.

“It’s pretty exciting because Hallowell put me through the academy in 1997,” MacMaster said. “It’s fun and exciting to bring it around full circle.”

He also has a law enforcement lineage in his family — his father, Brian, is currently the chief of investigations for the Maine Attorney General’s office, and his grandfather, Clyde MacMaster, was the former commissioner of public safety in Gardiner.

His experience in Richmond, a small town, and Greenville, a tourist destination, will fit well in Hallowell’s busy downtown, MacMaster said. He said the city has changed a bit since he left the department 20 years ago.

“There’s a lot more restaurants,” MacMaster said. “When I was working there, it was more of a suburb to Augusta but I really feel like it’s carved out its identity in the last 20 years.”

He said he liked how many events the city has during the year, and he wanted to step up enforcement and patrols on the Kennebec River Rail Trail.

“I’m excited to work with the community as much as possible,” MacMaster said. “I’d like to make a point of interest is getting down (to the trail) … to make sure it’s a safe environment.”

Nason will work with him during the month of April, then retire after more than 30 years on the force. MacMaster said Nason has left the department in good shape.

On March 11, the Kennebec Journal reported that MacMaster’s resignation from the police chief post in Richmond was accepted by the town’s Board of Selectman. MacMaster was chief in Richmond for 10 years.

Hallowell has a population of about 2,300 and the police department has 10 positions, including a patrol sergeant, three full-time officers and five reserves, or part-time officers.

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