May Named Acting Chief

Tuesday June 11, 2024

Sargent May - Award Ceremony

May Named Acting Chief
By Stewart Lytle, Reporter
ROWLEY — For 36 years, Stephen May has dreamed he might serve this town as its police chief. As of last week, his wish was realized.
The dream started when he was hired as a part-time police dispatcher in 1988 and was nurtured through a career in the department, rising in the ranks until he retired seven years ago as the executive officer/lieutenant supervising his fellow officers and civilian personnel.
When the chief was absent, May assumed his responsibilities.
Police Chief Scott Dumas went on medical leave April 11 and May was brought back to the department to assume the position of Acting Police Captain.
Seven weeks later, the post of Police Chief remained vacant with Dumas still on leave, which May described as “a trying time for you guys (the SelectBoard). It’s been a trying time at the police department. And it’s been a very stressful, trying time for me.”
On the recommendation of Town Administrator Deborah Eagan, the SelectBoard named May Acting Police Chief on a voice vote.
“It has always been my goal and desire to be the police chief for this town,” May told the SelectBoard.
May, who owns a municipal and police training company with his son, pledged three things to the board.
The first, which he said is already in the works, is to stabilize the police department.
The Rowley Police officers earlier submitted a no-confidence letter in Dumas. And union president John Raffi said Dumas has created a toxic environment due to a shortage of manpower that has resulted in an unprecedented number of order-ins and day-off denials.
May, who said he learned how to be a police chief from watching former chief Kevin Barry, also pledged to return the department to basic police work. Barry was chief of the Rowley police from 1983 to 2009.
And May promised to make the department “a model for all police departments in the Northeast.”

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