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March 2, 2013

Atkinson police union endorses acting chief

ATKINSON — Members of the Atkinson Police Association know who they want as their next police chief: acting Chief Patrick Caggiano.

Caggiano was named acting chief Wednesday night after selectmen voted to fire longtime Chief Philip Consentino.

Before Caggiano could settle into his new role, the union endorsed him for the permanent job.

He’s not the only one settling into a new role. Town Manager William Innes has taken on the role of elderly affairs director — temporarily.

After 45-year veteran Consentino was fired, selectmen moved to fill his two roles with existing employees.

But the 15 union members want the word interim removed from Caggiano’s new job title.

“His skills are unmatched and he has an extensive knowledge of the profession,” Detective Nicholas Fiset said. “We recognize how good of a teacher and leader he has been.”

Consentino was a part-time chief, working 25 hours a week.

It’s possible the next chief will be full time, but that would require a Town Meeting vote. It’s early in the process. Consentino emailed selectmen Tuesday evening to announce his intention to retire April 2.

Selectmen men the next night and fired the chief, citing the results of an independent investigation into a personnel matter.

It’s been a busy week.

“There has always been discussion about making it full-time,” Selectmen’s Chairman Fred Childs said yesterday. “But we haven’t decided what we want to do yet.”

No one knows whether Caggiano would be interested in a part-time position; he didn’t return several phone calls yesterday.

“I don’t know if he would want a part-time or full-time job,” Fiset said. “The entire body feels he would be an excellent police chief, whatever fashion that is in is something that would have to be figured out.”

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