Conversation With Chief Enos
Seekonk’s interim Police Chief David Enos is in charge of a department which has undergone many changes.
Enos, 48, was named Deputy Chief by the Board of Selectmen last March. Following former Chief Frank John’s resignation in July, Enos was tapped to lead the department.
Enos grew up in Taunton and took an interest in criminal justice at a young age. He said being a police officer appealed to him because of his need to serve the community.
The 17 year veteran notes the department has grown from 30 members to nearly 40.
“We had an influx of (younger officers) so I went from being one of the young guys to being one of the old guys,” Enos said.
Sex trafficking has been a major problem in Seekonk for the past several years. The department has been working with the Rhode Island State Police and Homeland Security on apprehending suspects.
“Our detective division is very busy (dealing with reports of sexual assaults),” Enos said.
As for opioid use, Enos notes the problem is located primarily in the town’s south end, where transients stay in the motels on Route 6.
Enos said the presence of recreational marijuana shops is a concern. Voters at Monday’s town meeting rejected an expansion of the marijuana overlay district and approved restrictions on the number of marijuana businesses in town.
“One of the biggest consequences is going to be the impaired driving aspect of it,” Enos said, noting the members of the department would be receiving additional training for any problems arising in the future.
For anyone considering a career in law enforcement, Enos cautions them about the reality of the job.
“Being a cop is more than just locking up bad guys,” Enos explained. “Our mandate has grown through the years. We are called (upon) to do everything now. We get called on any kind of issue ranging from family disputes to mental health issues.”
Enos said police departments all over the country are experiencing problems regarding recruiting and retention. Seekonk is no exception.
“Before you could just (announce) that you were having a test and you’d have thousands of people show up,” Enos noted. “You would have a large applicant pool to choose from. That’s not the case now. Less people want to be police officers so the size of your pool of candidates has shrunk tremendously. As an administrator of a police department, you have to keep that in mind and start getting creative on ways to market your department and to try to get the best quality candidates.”
Although the search for a permanent police chief is ongoing, Enos is focused on making the department run as smoothly as possible.
“Our mission is to serve the community and to make sure our goals are in line with that,” Enos added.