Cohasset’s Acting Chief Makes Top 5 in Cohasset Police Chief Search

On March 19 I called Steve Unsworth of Badge Quest, the company hired to assist Town Manager Chris Senior in hiring a Police Chief, with some questions.

On March 19th Acting Police Chief Bill Quigley told the Community Liaison Committee that he was one of five finalists for the Cohasset job. The Community Liaison Committee is listed under the police department, on their website, but its members are appointed by Selectmen.

I asked Unsworth at what point the five candidates’ names become public.

Unsworth said that normally the Town Manager reveals his choice at the time he brings his candidate before the board of selectmen. The other candidates are not normally “known” unless they announce themselves.

Candidates will undoubtedly meet one another today (Saturday, March 21) when they spend a full day being assessed by Badge Quest assessors. At that point individual candidates will know their competitors and ultimately some of that the news will sift down to the public.

After assessments are made, Senior will interview all five candidates and then make his selection to put before Selectmen.

I asked Unsworth if Cohasset’s top five candidates were asked to not divulge that they were in the top five. He said no. I found that odd, particularly when this search is supposed to be double-blind, and candidates are not supposed to know who are in the top five.

Quigley has broken no laws, according to Unsworth and Senior. Senior said he is pleased with the search and that the process has been impartial and is on-track.

If there is any upset here, it is the questions that we now have regarding Cohasset’s Community Liaison Committee, a very ‘un-sunshiny’ committee that has surfaced during sunshine week, although it’s been around since at least 2010.

Town officials call it an ad hoc committee, but there is no ad hoc anything in the Open Meeting Law.

According to the Open Meeting Law, the Community Liaison Committee is a public board that does not post its meetings and should.

We are told from its description on the police website that the committee meets regularly with its membership and the police chief to improve communication between residents and the police department.

In its description of service it says the following:

“Residents often time (sic) don’t feel comfortable contacting their local police agency to complain, criticize or simply ask questions.”

It then names its members and gives citizens their five e-mail addresses.

Three of the members have police department email addresses (that would not be comforting to citizens who wish to make their complaints private, not public). The other two have very public addresses.

It would be difficult for anyone to find this committee as it does not post its meetings. If the committee takes minutes, they are not public. If one did not have a computer there would be no way for anyone to know this committee existed.

The public should have the right to know what issues are being discussed by this committee, if the public can attend meetings, etc., and how does the committee rate itself on its ability to communicate with citizens. What issues has it contemplated?

Congratulations to Acting Chief Quigley.

Original article on Badge Quest:

© Copyright 2015 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed