Rockport names first assistant police chief

Courtesy Photo/Mark Schmink has been named assistant chief of the Rockport Police Department and town’s director of emergency services. 

ROCKPORT — In an effort to reshape leadership at the Rockport Police Department and Town Hall, Rockport police Lt. Mark Schmink has been promoted to the town’s first assistant chief of police and director of emergency services.

“I feel very fortunate for the trust and support I’ve received from the chief, town administrator and Board of Selectmen,” Schmink told the Gloucester Daily Times. “It’s not a Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 job. I’ve got to be available at all times, and I’ve accepted that responsibility.”

The decision was finalized when selectmen met last week. Three of the four selectmen present voted to confirm Schmink to the two roles. Selectwoman Ruth George abstained from the vote as her nephew serves on the force.

In the wake of Schmink’s promotion, Sgt. Michael Marino will be brought up to lieutenant. He will be assigned as an off-hours commander to supervise and mentor younger officers and supervisors, police Chief John Horvath said. The department is not planning to fill Marino’s sergeant position.

Both promotions will come with a raise which will go over the department’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget as approved at town meeting, according to Horvath. Schmink said he is “currently finalizing contract negotiations with the ... Board of Selectmen.”

Horvath said he chose Schmink for assistant chief based on his years of experience as a Rockport officer and background in police work.

Schmink has been the department’s lieutenant for more than 25 years. He holds a Master of Criminal Justice Administration from Salem State University, has completed three separate FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association courses, and, last June graduated from the FBI National Academy.

He has also served as commander of the Cape Ann Regional Response Team, including in 2013 when the team was sent to Watertown to join the hunt for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after the police chase and shootout that ensued.

“He has the necessary skills to do the job,” Horvath summarized.

In addition to being second-in-command, Schmink will serve as an additional resource if needed for the force’s relatively young cadre of officers. As it stands, the department has 10 full-time officers, seven of whom have six years or fewer of experience. Five have two years or less.

Horvath has sought more oversight at the department since he was hired as chief in 2015.

“In most police organizations, supervision can be enhanced,” he explained. “Not only are we increasing the number of supervisors, we’re also increasing the quality.”

The department’s command staff, which includes the lieutenants, sergeants, assistant chief and chief, will also receive specific leadership training to allow them to mentor younger officers’ strategic management.

As director of emergency services, Schmink will oversee the town’s Fire Department, Forest Fire Department, as well as its ambulance, harbormaster and animal control services.

“The director position reports to the town administrator and will be focused on enhanced coordination of the emergency services functions, short- and long-term planning for operations, succession planning, special projects, and strategic management,” said Town Administrator Mitch Vieira. “These responsibilities previously were a part of the assistant town administrator position.”

The emergency management change is part of Vieira’s multi-phase reorganization plan at Town Hall. Previously, the town named Carrie Arnaud, the town’s treasurer and collector, as director of finance in November. Both moves are expected to save the town money, Vieira said, as they are paid as stipends to full-time employees, not full-time positions with benefits.

A ceremony celebrating Schmink’s appointment as well as Vieira’s recent appointment as town administrator will be held on Thursday, June 27, from 5 to 6 p.m., in the Brenner Room at Rockport Public Library. RSVPs are requested by contacting Chief Horvath at 978-546-1212, ext 12 or chief@pd.rockportma.gov.

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.