Cumberland chief joins Maine police academy board

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CUMBERLAND — Police Chief Charles “Chip” Rumsey is the newest member of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy board of trustees.

Rumsey, who started as Cumberland’s chief last June after 21 years with the Waterville Police Department, said he applied for the appointment when he heard that longtime board member and Saco Police Chief Brad Paul would be retiring at the end of 2016.

Rumsey received notification in late January that Gov. Paul LePage had appointed him to the board.

“I was aware of all the good work that the board does because I have a good friend and a colleague who serves on the board, and had heard from him over the years how important their work was, and what a high-functioning board it is,” Rumsey said in an interview Monday.

The board’s work for the CJA includes approval of curriculum, issuing certifications for a variety of specialties – K9 officers, firearms instructors, executive certificates for chiefs, for example – and de-certification of police and correctional officers who have committed certain offences, according to a town press release.

Rumsey’s three-year appointment was effective Feb. 3. His first meeting with the 17-member panel, which gathers every other month, will be Friday, March 10.

Subcommittee work could also task him between meetings. Although the responsibility adds to Rumsey’s workload, he said he looks forward to the experience.

“That is something that I am prepared to handle, and I also think that with work like this, there is a great potential that the work that I do for the Board of Trustees benefits the Cumberland Police Department,” Rumsey said. “If I’m researching a new policy, I learn all about the issue that the policy is intended to address, and then am better prepared to help my agency address the issue and the policies.”

Rumsey called his time with Cumberland thus far “amazing,” noting that he came to the town not knowing any of the officers, but soon found a strong mix of those with experience and instructional and community knowledge, as well as newer officers who are excited and motivated to do their jobs.

“The No. 1 word I would use to describe my time since I’ve been here has been ‘fun,'” Rumsey said. “I’ve been really enjoying it, it’s an amazing community, I feel very lucky to be here.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

State Dedimus Justice Christina Silberman swore in Cumberland Police Chief Charles “Chip” Rumsey Feb. 14 as a trustee of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.