Chief-sharing under review

Jim Willis

MOUNT DESERT — Jim Willis, the town’s chief of police, will continue to double as acting police chief in Bar Harbor until June 20.

But the chief-sharing arrangement might be restructured and renewed for another few months. That possibility will be discussed over the next couple of weeks by Chief Willis, Mount Desert Town Manager Durlin Lunt and Bar Harbor Town Council members David Bowden and Paul Paradis.

Chief Willis has been in charge of the police forces in both towns since Nov. 5.

Bar Harbor Town Manager Dana Reed, who resigned earlier this month, approached Mount Desert officials about sharing Chief Willis’s services after he placed Bar Harbor Police Chief Nate Young on administrative leave Oct. 1. Young was to be on leave pending the outcome of an investigation into his conduct during an incident the previous month.

Reed fired Young on Jan. 22, and the Town Council subsequently upheld that decision. Chief Young has since filed a lawsuit against the town.

Officials of the two towns have talked about the possibility of crafting a new agreement under which Chief Willis would continue to serve both towns.

At the Bar Harbor Town Council meeting Tuesday night, council members expressed optimism that a second temporary agreement could be reached by June 20.

Councilors also said that a new short-term agreement for sharing a police chief could lead to discussions about a long-term arrangement.

Reporter Rob Levin contributed to this story.

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Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]