HALLOWELL — City councilors have named an interim police chief after former police Chief Scott MacMaster gave his notice last month to accept a patrol officer position in Gardiner.

The City Council on Monday voted to appoint Sgt. Christopher Giles as the city’s interim chief. MacMaster’s last day is Friday and Giles will begin serving as interim chief the following day.

MacMaster’s annual salary as chief was $75,457.

Hallowell police Sgt. Christopher Giles has been named the interim police chief.  Contributed photo

Hallowell City Manager Gary Lamb said he approached Giles to see if he would be interested in serving as interim chief.

“I like the way he communicates,” Lamb said. “I trust him, and he’s interested in the position, at least on an interim basis.”

Lamb said the police union rules call for a 5% bump in salary when appointed to interim chief. This would bring Giles’ $57,716 annual salary up by $2,885 ,to $60,601.

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Giles, 40, has served the city of Hallowell for about a year, but has been involved with law enforcement since 2005. He was an officer in Richmond prior to coming to Hallowell.

Giles said he’s confident they’ll be able to operate efficiently during the interim. “There will be some minor modifications, but we are working with a very good team and we’re more than ready to handle the departure of the chief,” said Giles.

Lamb said the absence of an employee will create some scheduling issues.

“Some people are going to get some more overtime, and that’s always more expensive than hiring another person,” he said.

In addition to being down one employee, the department has also been down a vehicle. Less than a month ago, Sgt. Giles was struck from behind by a Jeep Cherokee while driving one of the department’s two marked cruisers, a 2017 Ford Explorer.

As a result, the cruiser was destroyed. Lamb said the town was awarded a $13,300 payout for the vehicle, and that he’s hoping the City Council will approve payment for a new police vehicle during the next council meeting on March 13.

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He said the city is looking at a 2023 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor from Quirk Ford in Hallowell, which is priced at $43,413.

Lamb said the police chief  job posting should ideally be made public by the end of next week, and that the city’s personnel and policy committee will need to review the job description before it is made public.

In the meantime, Giles is excited to take on the challenge of working as interim chief, and is considering formally applying for the position once the job is posted.

“I’ve got a positive outlook,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed my time in Hallowell, and will likely end my career here. It’s been a fun place to work so far, and I’m looking forward to making good memories here.”

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