Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter presents a proposal to change the position of police chief to a civilian commissioner to the ordinance committee this week. The mayor recently installed Robert Hayden as interim police chief. A meeting before a standing room only crowd was held Tuesday to discuss the need for such an ordinance. Carpenter’s Chief of Staff Bob Buckley commended the committee on how they handled the mayor’s request.
“I think the ordinance committee did a very good job of trying to staying focused on the ordinance and not the personality of the person, who I think it’s no secret of who we want to lead the Brockton Police Department,” Buckley said. “They had some questions in regards to the legality of that, they asked a lot of probing questions, I think they want to perhaps, make sure the city is covered in the future.”
The panel quizzed Carpenter about the cost of the move and if it was legal to hire Hayden, who is 71. State law prohibits a police chief from serving beyond the age of 65. While there are still plenty of questions about the move, City Councilor Tim Cruise says it’s important to what’s best for the city.
“I think everybody has the same thought process as to that we need to do something, ” said Cruise. “I happen to think Chief Manny Gomes was a great chief, but Mr. Carpenter won the election and I’m also a believer in trying to give the person the tools whether it’s in business or in politics and government, to give people the tools to succeed. I think everybody is looking and saying maybe we can do this if we can do it correctly and at the same time there are a lot of people saying, “Wait a minute is this the only person who can do this job?”
The Ordinance Committee postponed a vote to allow further work and discussion on the measure. Meanwhile, the mayor is working to add a sunset clause to the civilian commissioner ordinance, which would go away and change back to police chief position after one year.