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March 26, 2013

Interim Atkinson chief adjusts to new role

ATKINSON — For the last month, Patrick Caggiano has been a busy man.

Since longtime Chief Philip Consentino was fired, Caggiano temporarily has absorbed the part-time chief’s responsibilities in addition to his duties as sergeant.

“I’ve been busier,” Caggiano said. “I was handling a fair amount of day-to-day operations before the change, but I’ve taken on several additional duties as well.”

Budgeting, payroll and other administrative duties are now on Caggiano’s plate. He is still working as a 40-hour employee of the town, but has delegated some of his responsibilities to other officers.

Consentino, 72, worked 25 hours a week as chief. He was with the department for 45 years.

The system is working well right now, Caggiano said. Selectmen have yet to decide the future of the chief’s job and whether it will remain a part-time position.

Caggiano said he would be open to becoming the permanent police chief if it is offered to him.

“I enjoy working very much for the town in my current position,” he said. “The selectmen and the townspeople are the ones who have to figure out the future of the position. From there, I would love and welcome the opportunity if things fit for me in my current position. I don’t want to focus on it until there’s a definitive answer in the direction the town wants to go with the position.”

Caggiano was endorsed by the Atkinson Police Association just days after Consentino’s firing as their choice for new police chief.

“It was humbling,” Caggiano said. “Even prior to talking to the officers, I knew the support was there. But we are just trying to operate the same way that we were operating.”

Selectman Todd Barbera said workshops are scheduled with Town Administrator Bill Innes, Caggiano and fellow selectmen to get more insight into how the department is running.

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