Board to hire firm to do search for chief

Hudson selectmen agreed Tuesday night to hire a professional firm to run the search for the town’s first new police chief in nearly two decades.

The selectmen voted to hire Municipal Resources Inc., for no more than $7,500 to recruit a professional interview panel and to coordinate interview sessions by that panel and a citizen’s panel.

Chief Richard Gendron announced last month he will retire at the end of the year after 30 years with the Hudson department, the last 18 as chief.

The board also agreed to appoint four of the 15 Hudson residents who applied to the citizens panel. The fifth member of that panel will be Randy Bell, superintendent of the Hudson School District.

The professional panel will include veterans of law enforcement plus Hudson Fire Chief Shawn Murray.

Under MRI’s system, each of the panels will interview candidates separately, rank each and then compare their findings, according to a memo to the board from Town Administrator Steve Malizia. The selectmen would then review those rankings and conduct their own interview, according to the memo.

“Filling the position after Richard Gendron leaves is going to be a difficult task,” Selectman Richard Maddox said. “We can do a good job, but we do it once every 15 years . . . MRI does this as a business.”

The board had already decided to focus its search within the department rather than initiating a wider search.

Capts. Jay Lavoie and Don Breault are the next highest-ranking officers in the department.