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After police chief's resignation, Bath names temporary officer-in-charge

Jeff Smith
The Leader

Village of Bath leaders on Tuesday accepted the unexpected resignation of Village Police Chief Chad Mullen and named current police Investigator Colin Taft as the department’s temporary officer-in-charge.

“Right now, I think we are going to determine what we want to do,” said Village Mayor Mike Sweet. “There have been people from the community that have reached out and feel that (the village) could probably go with an administrative officer rather than a chief of police.”

Officials said an administrative officer position is routinely filled by a retired patrolman, capped at $35,000 -- the most a retired officer can make while also receiving a pension. 

Sweet said a committee will be formed early next week to begin a search to fill or change the police leadership role.

“We don’t know what direction we are going to go right now, but an administrative officer is one of the ideas that the village needs to explore,” Sweet said.

Taft said he is excited to be given the temporary opportunity to move the police department in a better direction. The department currently has nine full-time police officers, up to eight part-time patrolmen, one full-time dispatcher and two part-time dispatchers. 

“The show is going to go on, and I am going to keep the boat afloat,” Taft said. “We are going to keep providing excellent service to the Village of Bath taxpayers.” 

Taft said he would be interested in the position if the Village Trustees chose to hire a permanent chief of police.

“I would consider it if I could get a contract. The last village police chief did not have a contract his last two-and-a-half years here,” Taft said. “Obviously if me and the village could agree on terms, I would be interested in the position, but other than that I’m very happy where I am as a criminal investigator.”

Sweet said the Village Board would like to fill the position as soon as possible. 

“Taft is currently trying to do two jobs,” Sweet said. “We are going to make the decision as quick as possible, but also make sure that we make the right decision and have the right candidate.” 

Mullen resigned after serving six years as Bath Village Police Department Chief. He replaced longtime Bath Village Police Chief David Rouse, who retired in October 2014 after 18 years at the post.