Oakland police Chief Michael Tracy, left, plans to retire in April 2024, but says he will use time earned and leave the position Feb. 8. Deputy police Chief Charles “Rick” Stubbert III, right, will become the new chief. The council Wednesday night voted unanimously to confirm Stubbert’s appointment to the position. Tracy is retiring after 43 years with the department. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

OAKLAND — Deputy police Chief Charles “Rick” Stubbert III will become the town’s next police chief in February after the Town Council on Wednesday voted 4-0 to confirm his appointment.

Charles Stubbert III

Stubbert, 53, will replace police Chief Michael Tracy, who plans to retire in April when he turns 65. In the meantime, he says he will use earned time and so will leave his post Feb. 8. Tracy has worked 43 years for the police department, the last 22 as chief.

Stubbert is a 23-year employee of the department, having started as a part-time patrol officer in 1996. He worked his way up through the ranks to detective, captain and then, about 15 years ago, to deputy chief. He also has worked for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency for the last 12 years.

“He has great vision and ideas and isn’t afraid to get involved at all levels of law enforcement,” Town Manager Kelly Pinney-Michaud said of Stubbert. “There is no doubt in my mind that Rick will bring the force forward and continue protecting the citizens of Oakland and Oakland community for years to come.”

Pinney-Michaud spoke to more than 50 people, including police officers and firefighters, during the council meeting Wednesday at the fire station. She appointed Stubbert to the post and the council confirmed it. Councilor David Groder was absent from the meeting, as he had a prior commitment in Augusta, according to Council Chairman Mike Perkins.

Stubbert, who received applause from the crowd Wednesday, said after the meeting that he wanted to thank Chief Tracy because if it wasn’t for him, he wouldn’t be where he is today.


“He took a chance on me and made me his captain approximately 17 years ago,” Stubbert said. “And in that time, I have learned most of what I know about police work from him. He has been a great mentor to me and has prepared me. I will miss him.”

Tracy said Stubbert has been his go-to person for anything he has needed over many years and he has filled in for him when he had to be away from the department.

“He was the person you went to when you wanted to get something done,” Tracy said. “I feel really good that, when I leave the police department I’ve loved for 43 years, it will be in good hands. I’m proud to say that Rick is the right person for the job, for many reasons.”

Pinney-Michaud said at the meeting that she sent an email to all the police officers and welcomed letters of interest or support for those wanting to apply for the chief’s position. Three people submitted letters of interest and two were interviewed, she said. The council felt strongly about having an internal process in the search for a new chief, she said.

Stubbert stood out in the interviewing process, according to Pinney-Michaud.

“Rick stated in his letter of interest that ‘a successful police chief’s skills must include strategic planning, collaboration, budgeting, labor and human relations and personal development,’ all of which Rick has cultivated over his 23-year career,” she said.


Asked after the meeting what Stubbert’s salary will be, Pinney-Michaud said it will be the same as Tracy’s until the end of the fiscal year (June 30) and then will be discussed. Tracy said he earns about $83,000 annually.

Stubbert graduated from Waterville High School in 1988 and earned a bachelor’s degree in history from St. Anselm College in 1995. In 2001, he graduated in the 95th municipal county basic police school at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

He has been a member of the Oakland-based Regional School Unit 18 board of directors for nine years. He also serves on the board of directors for the Alfond Youth & Community Center and coaches AAU girls basketball. In the past, he served on various town committees including a diversity committee, as well as the school board’s education programming committee.

As chief, Stubbert will head a department of 12 full-time employees, including a secretary-dispatcher.

He said he will not work for the drug enforcement agency after he becomes chief and is proud to have worked as an agent at MDEA’s South Central Office. He said MDEA is a professional group of men and women with an important mission and he wanted to thank them, as well as his supervisor, Chip Woodman. He said he also wanted to thank the men and women of the Oakland Police Department for their support during the transition to chief.

“They are a group of dedicated officers who serve the town of Oakland and I am looking forward to leading them in the future,” he said. “Police work is a partnership with the community. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with the community to identify and solve problems. I am also looking forward to putting on a uniform again and going out there with the officers.”

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