Susan Nourse had credible competition for the job of Freeport police chief, but Nourse had the inside track, having served in the department for 33 years, including the last 2½ months as interim chief.

So on Tuesday night, June 7, the Town Council was poised to take Town Manager Peter Joseph’s recommendation and promote her from Lt. Susan Nourse to Chief Susan Nourse.

The meeting was held after the Tri-Town Weekly publication deadline. Because she had not been appointed yet by the council, Nourse declined to comment on Joseph’s recommendation. She will start out with a salary of $81,541.

In her letter to the search committee, Nourse said that her abilities and interest match what is needed in a police supervisor in a small New England town.

“Freeport has been the place where I grew into a mature and resposible adult,”  she wrote to the committee. “I started my police career in my 20s, when a young person’s principles and beliefs are still being formed. The town’s people challenged me, but also  embraced me, and I feel a connection to Freeport that makes me want to preserve its safe, secure environment.”

Nourse succeeds Jerry Schofield, who had been police chief in Freeport since 1988. Joseph chose Nourse, a Freeport  resident, over Marc Hagan, patrol commander in Brunswick. Nourse and Hagan participated in a well-attended public meet-and-greet on May 19, and Joseph said then he would weigh written comments from the public heavily in making his selection.

During that session, one woman in the audienced asked Nourse what key issues are facing the community’s youth. Nourse recalled a presentation she had made to  to students, and listening  to a man whose son died of an opioid overdose. Nourse said she would do presentations at the high school level.

“They’e worried and concerned just like we are,” she said, “but they’re at a point where impulse sort of takes over. “We need to get a better hold of the Route 1 corridor. It brings in a criminal element.”

Joseph made his choice known to the Town Council in a memorandum last Thursday.

“I am happy to nominate Susan Nourse of Freeport to the Freeport Town Council for appointment as chief of police,” Joseph wrote. “Susan has served the Freeport Police Department for 31 years, including 11 years as lieutenant, which is equivalent to a ‘second in command’ or deputy chief’s position in a larger department.”

Nourse holds a master’s degree in adult education, and graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2006.

“After a thorough recruitment and interview process, as well as a large amount of feedback from various residents and community members, I am confident that Susan has the required knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as the knowledge of, and support from, the community to progress in her career and succeed in the position of chief of police,” Joseph told the council.

Susan Nourse

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