Michael Lane's retirement Friday won't mark his last day with, or at the helm of, the Gloucester Police Department.
With the search for a new chief just getting in gear, he's agreed to stay until October when the city hopes it will select a new one.
Lane is slated to retire tomorrow, yet the interim chief will be back the next day, keeping at his job until Oct. 1.
Lane said Wednesday he's staying on to provide continuity for the department.
When Mayor Carolyn Kirk appointed him interim chief in May 2009, Lane said he promised that she wouldn't need to appoint another interim before a permanent police chief could be chosen, and he said he's keeping that promise.
He said he and Kirk expect the search to wrap up before October, leaving him with a month of overlap with the new chief.
"I would fully expect that the search would be complete in time for me to have a month or so with the incoming chief," said Lane.
Kirk opened the first search for a police chief outside of Massachusetts civil service in December, after officially declaring the position vacant on Dec. 13. Since then, the nine-member search committee has hired Yarmouth-based BadgeQuest as the search consultant. The company is soliciting resumes for the position with a May 30 cutoff date.
A referendum pulled the police chief's position from civil service in 2009. The City Council removed the fire chief's position in January 2011. The police chief search will closely resemble the fire chief search and operates under the same ordinance.
The search committee is comprised Chairman David Bain, the city's personnel director; Douglas MacArthur, chairman of the city's Retirement Board and a retired firefighter; Emergency Management Director Miles Schlichte; Richard Maybury, who runs Peak Performance Group; Loretta Perez, founder of the Chill Zone; former Ward 3 City Councilor Steven Curcuru; Gloucester Police Detective and union leader Jeremiah Nicastro; Lt. Joseph Fitzgerald; and Ward 1 City Councilor Paul McGeary; and .
Bain said the committee selected BadgeQuest on March 15. The company, a public safety consulting firm run by retired Waltham police Chief Steven Unsworth ,was the only firm that bid for the consulting job. Municipal Resources Inc., which served as the consultant for the fire chief search, did not put in a bid.
Bain said he expects the police chief search to take less time than the fire chief search process will. Kirk conducted her interviews with the three remaining finalists from the Fire Chief search this week, and is expected to make her decision sometime next week.
"I hope we've learned a little from the previous experience. We had a lot of questions answered in the fire chief search that we've taken advantage of, this will be quicker," Bain said.
The committee, Bain said, will hold two public comment sessions after BadgeQuest closes the application period. One comment session will be during the day at the Rose Baker Senior Center, the other later that night at Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall.
Kirk is poised to name a new fire chief from among three finalists in the coming days.
In the Fire Department, Kirk named Deputy Steve Aiello — one of the finalists — as acting chief because interim chief Phil Dench's retirement coincided with his 65th birthday and mandated retirement date of Feb. 28 under civil service guidelines.
Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.