Thetford police chief leaving for job in private sector

  • Thetford, Vt., Police Chief Michael Evans speaks during Town Meeting in Thetford, Vt., on Feb. 27, 2016.(Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Geoff Hansen

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 12/6/2021 9:34:54 PM
Modified: 12/7/2021 6:50:42 PM

THETFORD — Police Chief Michael Evans is retiring from his post effective Dec. 23 to take a new job in the private sector, ending a 30-year law enforcement career in the Upper Valley.

“This is bittersweet. There are so many relationships developed over the past 6½ years that I cherish and will miss,” Evans said in a message to Thetford residents on the town listserv. “I leave feeling that the relationship between the community and its police officers has been cultivated and nourished, and with continued effort, it will continue to flourish well into the future.”

Evans, 53, started as a part-time police officer in Cornish and Charlestown, then worked for more than 23 years for the Hanover Police Department, where he retired as a lieutenant before coming to Thetford in February 2015.

He said he is leaving Thetford to become the service manager at Tasco Security, an alarm and monitoring company based in Enfield.

“Thirty years in policing is probably a fairly good run, especially in the climate now,” Evans said in a phone interview Monday. “It’s harder now, not always as fulfilling. But there are more things that I enjoy than I don’t enjoy.”

Evans, who grew up in Claremont and now lives in Hanover, said there are “so many different factors” involved, including “the risk involved in the job,” his age and financial considerations.

Though he said he gets on well with current Town Manager Bryan Gazda, Evans said wrangling over the police budget with a prior town manager was also wearing.

Evans, who was supported by residents in town, was briefly put on paid administrative leave last year during the budget dispute before being reinstated.

“That’s a factor,” Evans said of the budget battle. “How many times can you go through those exercises and say this is something I really enjoy?”

Evans, who is already able to collect his pension from New Hampshire, is vested in Vermont and can begin taking his pension there at age 55.

He is currently paid $78,374 as chief in Thetford, which also has two full-time patrol officers.

Gazda said he and Evans will meet “later in the week to discuss how best to staff the department with two officers. My first priority is to make sure we have adequate police coverage with just two officers, while a long-term decision is made on staffing the position.”

Selectboard Vice Chair Li Shen said Evans is “very well-liked” in town and was seen as especially compassionate and caring for residents dealing with an unexpected death.

“He definitely made community policing part of his agenda,” she said. “He went into schools and talked to the kids, and his goal was that kids didn’t develop a negative attitude about police.”

John Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com or 603-727-3217.




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