Susan Nourse, Freeport’s interim police chief, and Marc Hagan, one of two commanders who work under Brunswick Police Chief Richard Rizzo, are the finalists for the position of Freeport police chief.
Residents can meet both of them in a forum scheduled for Thursday, May 19, in the Town Council Chambers. There will be a meet-and-greet with the public and a question-and-answer session. One candidate will be in the spotlight from 6-7 p.m., and the other from 7-8.
Either Nourse or Hagan will succeed Jerry Schofield, who had been on the force since 1976, and became police chief in 1988. He retired in March.
“We want public participation,” Town Manager Peter Joseph said. “We’re trying to focus it on the community because community-oriented policing is a hot topic. Schofield was great at that. We’re not looking for someone just to sit behind a desk.”
Town staff and members of the Maine Association of Chiefs of Police conducted interviews with the 20 applicants for the job. Schofield was earning $92,514.24 and the salary is negotiable, Joseph said.
“We selected five candidates who were very well qualifid,” Joseph said. “We decided on the finalists (last Thursday). Both have 20-plus years with their departments. We’re excited. We think they’re both great candidates.”
During Thursday night’s meet-and-greet, Nourse and Hagan will make brief presentations, and then interact with residents. Town Council members might or might not attend, Joseph said.
“People can provide written feedback, and then we will make a decision within a week or two,” he said.
Nourse has been with the Freeport Police Department for 33 years, having started as a part-time dispatcher and working her way up to lieutentant.
She has handled much of the department’s press releases and communications during her long tenure in Freeport, and has taken part in community functions, including charity events. Nourse nominated the Freeport Community Service’s “Founding Mothers” for Freeport Community Services Citizens of the Year award last year, and is a trustee for Seeds of Independence and its Jump Start program, a court diversion program for first-time, non-violent offending youth.
Hagan is in his 26th year with the Brunswick Police Department. A Brunswick native, he now lives in Topsham.
Hagan began as a patrol officer. He worked up to sergeant and lieutentant, and has been patrol commander for the past eight years. He was worked with community groups, and in his capacity as patrol commander, Hagan is public information officer.
“I’ve done a lot of community-oriented policing in the past few years,” he said.