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January 8, 2014

Atkinson Selectman withdraws name from chief search

Selectman Baldwin applies for, withdraws from police chief job

ATKINSON — On Monday, Selectman William Baldwin announced he had submitted his resume for the police chief’s position. Yesterday, he reversed course.

Baldwin said he would be withdrawing his name from consideration and would remain in Plaistow as a lieutenant.

“It has been more aggravating than it’s worth,” Baldwin said. “I think it’s for the better. I have a job where I’m happy and, at this point in juncture, there’s more than plenty of candidates. I just think it’s in the best interest of everything that I’m not involved in the process.”

Baldwin, 42, worked in Atkinson for 14 years, moving up the ranks to become a lieutenant. In 2011, he left Atkinson for the same position in Plaistow after Atkinson selectmen decided not to promote him to captain.

Prior to withdrawing his name from consideration, Baldwin said he was still having doubts about leaving Plaistow.

“I’m not really sure whether I’m actually going to go through the process,” Baldwin said. “I’m very honored and humbled by residents who have encouraged me, but I’m still contemplating it and I want to make sure it’s a good thing for me.”

Last March, Baldwin was elected to serve a three-year term as selectman, something he would have given up if he was named police chief. Baldwin was prepared to recuse himself from the search if he was still a candidate.

The town has seen three police chiefs within the last year. Last February, longtime police chief Philip Consentino was dismissed by selectmen for “cause.”

He was replaced by Sgt. Patrick Caggiano, who served as acting chief until Dec. 19. Caggiano retired from the department after selectmen opted to conduct an open search for the position.

Since Caggiano retired, Rockingham County sheriff’s chief deputy Al Brackett has served as interim chief. Brackett has said he is not interested in the permanent position.

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