July 10, 2020

IF IT'S NOT BROKEN, PLEASE DON'T FIX IT!

Posted by DougBrown

Our small Town of Seekonk has always been an interesting place to live. There's never a shortage of unnecessary and avoidable political drama especially when selecting a Police Chief.

Taxpayers have a right to expect common sense, logic and reason to prevail when the Board of Selectmen decide who should get the next position.

I recently visited headquarters to schedule an appointment and was greeted by Deputy Police Chief David Enos. He was appointment to serve as Chief on a temporary basis, following the abrupt retirement of Frank John last July.
John had been placed on administrative leave in March 2019 after being in the position for six months. This was the shortest non interim tenure in any SPD history. Selectmen refused to discuss why he suddenly "retired," what this costs us, and the details of this suspicious situation. There have been past retention, ethical, and morale issues in the agency. There are multiple newspaper stories to support this statement. Dave Enos frankly stepped into a mess.

Chief Enos treated me with courtesy and respect. A clerk could have handled my transaction but he wanted to say personally say hello and gave me a tour of the facility.
He shocked me by welcoming me into his office and spent approximately thirty minutes explaining his plans and vision for the agency. He asked for my suggestions and ideas and actually listened to a civilian's perspective on policing.
His enthusiasm and devotion to our Town was refreshing. He seems to be a sincere and positive person. I tend to be more skeptical than most people and consider myself a good judge of human character and motivations. I'm no cheerleader.

So let's get to the point. Chief Enos has proven himself capable of excelling as Police Chief. He's done the job now for almost a year. You have already witnessed some of his accomplishments such as level funded budgeting, recruiting, retention, and training improvements, a new traffic division to reduce pedestrian accidents. He actually cares and listens to people. He understands the value of training and has created a professional work environment. He appears humble and has control of his emotions and ego. He seems to hold himself accountable to the same rules and regulations as subordinates. He seems to have the admiration of his Officers.

I respect the Board of Selectmen decision to pay $12,000 for a recruitment firm to screen candidates for this crucial position especially after the public outrage over a previous Board's secret deliberations to appoint a previous Chief. That appointment was never advertised, no search committee was chosen, no assistance sought from the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the public had no chance to comment. This lack of transparency causes all citizens to lose trust in our elected officials. See Attleboro Sun Newspaper story dated January 11, 2013. Let's not repeat past mistakes. Our Democracy demands better!

Congratulations to Patrolman Michael Jacques for his recent arrest and recovery of 250 bags of Heroin. This proactive police drug interdiction work is commendable. We are very proud and grateful for you and your peers efforts to protect us from criminals. Be safe.  Enos is a car you have driven for a year, you know if you can depend on it and him. Leadership matters, two Selectman already realize this fact. Hopefully this letter convinces another to support Dave Enos as our next Police Chief. Otherwise you can expect more turmoil and bad headlines to read in 2020.

Douglas Brown

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