Old Orchard Beach’s new police chief made a bit of history when she was appointed to the town’s top law enforcement post last month.

Capt. Elise Chard, who has served in the police department for 29 years, became the town’s first woman to serve as police chief after the Town Council approved her nomination at its June 21 meeting. Chard was nominated by Town Manager Diana Asanza.

Chard took over as interim police chief earlier this year after former Police Chief Dana Kelley announced he was retiring in May. Kelley joined the Old Orchard Beach department in 1972 as a part-time officer. He was promoted to full time, then to corporal, sergeant and captain before becoming chief in 1992.

During his tenure as chief, Kelley grew the department’s reserve and volunteer police programs. He also oversaw the creation of the town’s mobile parking payment program.

Chard joined the  Old Orchard Beach Police Department 29 years ago from the Lisbon Police Department. She also previously worked for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. While in Old Orchard Beach she worked as an officer, detective, corporal, and sergeant before being promoted to captain in 2017.

Chard’s annual salary was set at $105,395, according to a post on the police department’s Facebook page.

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