Thomas promoted to sergeant.
BOYLSTON - Longtime patrolman Robert Thomas Jr. has been promoted to sergeant after the Board of Selectmen concurred with Police Chief Anthony Sahagian's recommendation last Wednesday.
Thomas, 38, started with the department in 2001. He began as a part-time dispatcher, went to full-time dispatcher and served as a reserve officer in Boylston before attending the academy and being named an officer on the force in July 2001. He replaces 25-year department veteran Michael Donhue, who retired in December.
Reading from a prepared statement, Sahagian said the decision was one he felt was in the best interest of the town, though he suggested there may be some negative feelings about the decision.
That, however, was no reflection on Thomas, but rather his competition.
Sahagian said seven of eight of the department's officers applied for the position. A screening committee reviewed all the applications and found all seven qualified for the position. As a result, all seven officers interviewed with Sahagain.
"Without a doubt, this has been the most difficult decision in my 13 years as police chief," Sahagian said. "I work with and observe these gentlemen every day."
Sahagian said the sergeant's position has extensive administrative duties and requires multi-tasking, communication with the public, as well as writing skills. In addition to Thomas' skills in those areas, he has emergency medical technician experience and is the department's technology coordinator, a position from which Sahagian said he has saved the town money by avoiding service calls.
In addition, Thomas has already written successful grants for the department.
"(Thomas) will do well in this position. He will grow with it," Sahagian said.
Thomas, 38, lives in Rutland with his wife and two children. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, and a master's degree in criminal justice with a minor in business administration.
"I'm happy to be working in the Town of Boylston," Thomas said. "It's a tight-knit group here and a tight-knit community."
CUTLINE: Newly appointed Police Sergeant Robert Thomas Jr.