Cumberland's new chief promises to 'steward' Police Department

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CUMBERLAND — The town’s fifth police chief, Charles “Chip” Rumsey, was sworn in at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

Rumsey was most recently deputy chief of the Waterville Police Department, where he spent the past 21 years. He replaces Joe Charron, who retired as chief April 1 after 34 years in Cumberland.

Rumsey’s annual salary is $90,000. He was sworn in following an hour-long meet-and-greet reception that filled council chambers.

“Thank you so much for the warm welcome,” he told the town officials, police officers, and other community members gathered after the ceremony.

“I don’t know if you guys were volunteered or ‘voluntold’ to be here, but I appreciate seeing you all,” he added, eliciting laughs from the crowd.

Rumsey is married and has two sons. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and, with a father in the Air Force, moved around the country frequently in his youth, including time spent in Bangor.

His interest in police work was sparked shortly before college, he said Friday, when he went on a patrol ride-along with his sister, Cathy Rumsey – now a lieutenant in the Bangor Police Department – while she was an officer in Minot, North Dakota.

Rumsey has taught courses in criminal justice as an adjunct instructor since 2009. He graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2010, and is a member of the International Association of Police Chiefs and the Maine Chiefs of Police Association.

A team of town staff, Cumberland police officers and Maine police chiefs narrowed 12 applicants for the job down to five this spring, according to Town Manager Bill Shane. A meeting attended by 25 people – including town councilors and staff, School Board members, and members of the public – focused on the applicants’ ability to respond to “a serious police incident,” Shane said.

“For a very long time, this has been a goal of mine,” Rumsey said of becoming a police chief. “And I thank you very much for allowing my dream to come true.”

Councilor Mike Edes, a former Maine State Trooper, was among those to welcome Rumsey on board.

“I tell you, you’ll get a great group of officers,” Edes said of Cumberland’s force. “Every single one of them is high quality. You don’t have a bad card in this deck. … They’re lucky to have you, and you’re lucky to have them.”

Rumsey called himself a “steward” of the Police Department, noting, “I’m kind of the guy that gets to sail the ship for a little while, and hopefully … leave it in better waters, and better condition, than when I found it. I’m honored to be able to do that.”

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

Cumberland’s new police chief, Charles “Chip” Rumsey, was sworn in by Town Clerk Tammy O’Donnell during Monday’s Town Council meeting.

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.