In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, the Seekonk Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 Wednesday night to appoint Capt. Craig Mace as the police department's new chief. Mace will begin his new job March 16, the day after Chief Ronald Charron retires.
Various sources say selectmen already voted to promote Mace two weeks ago during an executive session meeting that took place behind closed doors. Bob McLintock, the lone selectman who, sources say, opposed the appointment prior to a lengthier search process being done, was not in attendance Wednesday.
Mace has worked in the department for 27 years, including the past seven years as a captain. Charron and Town Administrator Pam Nolan recommended his appointment. It would be an "almost seamless transition," Nolan said.
"I am putting all my faith in Craig Mace and I know he will not let us down as a town," she said. "He's a good representative with a sterling record. I call him the straight arrow, and I think he'll do this town and the department proud."
Board of Selectmen Chair Francis Cavaco said, "You cannot get a better man than Capt. Mace to take the position of chief."
More than 20 Seekonk police officers in attendance applauded after Mace's appointment became official. He thanked the town officials for their approval, and said his promotion would be a benefit for others in the department because they too can advance to higher positions.
"It keeps us a destination department and it gives our younger people something to look forward to," he said.
Mace thanked Charron, who will remain with the department as a "special officer" following his retirement. He said Charron was a good administrator and friend of everybody in the department.
"In any supervisory position, we can't always be friends, but we can be caring and look out for each other, and Chief Charron's been that as well," Mace said. "Very commendable, something to emulate, and I try to do that myself, and I would hope that our younger officers follow suit."
Although Mace's first day as chief will be March 16, the public installation ceremony is tentatively scheduled to take place the next day at the Johnson & Whales Inn.