The Buxton Board of Selectmen was expected to name a new police chief this week to succeed Michael Grovo, who has resigned after nearly eight years as chief and 10 years on the Buxton force.

Grovo, 59, said Wednesday that he loves law enforcement. “I think its time to move on,” Grovo told the American Journal. The board’s meeting Wednesday, March 16, also was held after the American Journal’s deadline.

Michael Grovo resigns as Buxton Police chief effective Thursday, March 31.

Michael Grovo resigns as Buxton Police chief effective Thursday, March 31.

Grovo sent a resignation letter on Jan. 4 to Cliff Emery, chairman of Buxton’s Board of Selectmen. Grovo wrote that he was resigning effective March 31.

“I have truly loved being the chief, but due to some recent health issues, doing the administrative work of the chief is something I would like to step down from,” Grovo wrote.

But, Grovo left the door ajar for a return.

“If the town and my replacement would have me, I may apply for a opening as a patrolman sometime in the future,” Grovo wrote.

Emery said Grovo earned $63,000 salary. Emery declined Tuesday to name Grovo’s replacement and said the candidate had not been hired yet and was “fully employed somewhere else.”

Emery said a replacement was selected from a field of 35-40 applicants. The successful candidate would need a favorable vote of Buxton’s five-member Board of Selectmen.

Wiscasset Police Chief Troy Cline confirmed Wednesday that he had applied for the chief’s job in Buxton. Cline, 49, told the American Journal that he is a native of Buxton. The town of Wiscasset is advertising on its website to fill the full-time position of  chief of police.

Robert Schwartz, executive director of Maine Chiefs of Police Association, said Tuesday his group assisted Buxton in the selection process.

Retired Gorham Police Chief Ronald Shepard said Tuesday that he attended a party for Grovo on Feb. 25 in Buxton Town Hall.

“I gave him best wishes,” said Shepard, now a Gorham town councilor. “He was a good guy.”

Grovo, who took the reins after Jody Thomas resigned, was named chief in December 2008 in a close, 3-2 vote by selectmen. Grovo has been on the Buxton force through some high-profile cases over the years.  Grovo was the local investigator assigned to work with the FBI when a Buxton girl, who was a Bonny Eagle High School student, disappeared in November 2006. A massive search ensued, but her body was found in the Saco River several months later.

Grovo was a member of the department during the puzzling case that developed when a Buxton woman was killed after being struck by a car first reported as a hit and run incident in December 2006. Grovo also was involved in the so-called puppy-mill raid in 2007, in which hundreds of dogs were seized, drawing extensive media attention.

Last year, Buxton police handled the investigation of a fatal car crash on Turkey Lane that claimed the life of a Standish girl, who was a passenger in the car driven by a another Bonny Eagle High School student. Buxton police were tight-lipped about the case.

Grovo began his law enforcement career in Scarborough, where he grew up. In Scarborough, he first was a reserve officer  in the 1970s and became full time in 1980. He obtained the rank of sergeant in Scarborough.

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