Winthrop and Monmouth town officials are expected to soon begin negotiations over appointing a permanent joint police chief who will oversee the two departments while sharing resources and encouraging collaboration.

Monmouth Police Chief Paul Ferland stands outside the town’s police station in 2021. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

Paul Ferland, the Monmouth police chief, took over additional responsibilities as the new interim police chief for Winthrop in early March and would hold the position permanently if the negotiations are successful.

“It’s challenging,” Ferland said of handling two police departments. “However, I have managed bigger departments in the past. This is not a big issue. Everybody is getting used to everybody, getting used to a different management style, different expectations. It’s going good.”

Ferland had been slated for the interim role since the last police chief, Ryan Frost, announced his retirement after serving the Winthrop police department for more than 30 years.

Officials hope to make this arrangement permanent by July when the new fiscal year begins.

“We are very pleased with the prospect of sharing resources with Monmouth,” said Winthrop Town Councilor Elizabeth Peters. “It will provide both towns with a level of expertise and knowledge of the community.”


The negotiations will officially start Tuesday, when Winthrop’s new town manager, Anthony Wilson, takes office. Both towns are expected to negotiate how to share the financial cost of having Ferland lead two police departments, as well as the day-to-day logistics and work hours.

Monmouth is currently paying Ferland $72,000 annually. Winthrop previously budgeted about $79,000 for its police chief prior to Frost’s retirement.

The chief’s salary is expected to increase and will be paid collaboratively by both towns; however, the respective percentages paid by both parties are not yet decided, said Monmouth Town Manager Justin Poirier.

Ferland “probably will spend more time over in Winthrop than he would here in Monmouth just because of the size. They do run a dispatch center and have more offices there,” said Poirier. “So, when you just split that salary, however, we are going to divide that up. I would expect each community will have some sort of savings.”

Poirier said both police departments are identical in terms of equipment and technology used and have cooperated well in the past. Therefore, “having the same administration will just lend to furthering the cooperation that already exists,” he said.

Ferland has taken steps previously to get both departments on the same page. He pointed out how early in his tenure as the Monmouth police chief, he transitioned from the record management system and the radio communication in Monmouth to the primary systems used in Winthrop to streamline the communications between the two departments.


“It’s not me, it’s the staff,” Ferland said. “I have a tremendous group of people who work in both agencies. It is not a one-man show, it is a team effort.”

Both police departments have witnessed similar changes in personnel in the past, too.

In 2021, Monmouth’s then-police chief, Kevin Mulherin, retired, and Peter Struck, the deputy chief of the Winthrop Police Department at the time, succeeded him in an interim role.

Before becoming the chief in Monmouth, where he is also a resident, Ferland worked as the patrol sergeant in Winthrop.

Ferland has also been a captain with the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, based in Augusta. He graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro and is certified to train other officers.

Monmouth Select Board member Kent Ackley said leveraging Ferland’s experience in both towns made sense and the arrangement stands to save money for both communities.

“We are anticipating this will become a permanent arrangement,” said Ackley. “This is a good example of when you think outside the box and think collaboratively, you can find some efficiencies in local governments, which make good financial sense and are ideal for the community.”

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