Adams Chooses Veteran Sergeant as Interim Police Chief

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Sgt. Richard Tarsa said he was 'very humbled and honored' to be chosen as interim chief.

ADAMS, Mass. — The town has picked the next in command to be its interim police chief.

Sgt. Richard Tarsa will take over temporarily upon Chief Donald Poirot's retirement. Tarsa was chosen with a recommendation from Town Administrator Jonathan Butler, who worked with Poirot to choose the temporary successor.

He will begin shadowing Poirot on April 15 and take over after Poirot's last day on April 26. He will serve until a permanent chief is selected by the Board of Selectmen.

Tarsa joined the department in 1984 and was promoted to sergeant in 1990. He has taken roles on the Prudential Committee — serving as chairman — and headed the neighborhood crime watch program.

"In his role he has help usher in a transformation of the Adams Police Department to a new era of law enforcement," Chairman Arthur "Skip" Harrington read from a memorandum from Butler.

The memorandum reads that other other qualified, internal candidates were discussed but Tarsa's experience and rank ultimately made the decision.

"It was decided to stick to department protocol in regards to this recommendation. The Adams Police Department, like most law enforcement agencies, are structured off of a paramilitary model wherein chain of command and rank determines leadership at all times," the memorandum reads. "Sgt. Tarsa holds the rank of first sergeant, meaning he is second in command."

Tarsa said he is "very humbled and honored" to take the role.

"There will be a smooth transition. We have a good group of officers," he said after the appointment.

Meanwhile, the town hopes to have three or four finalists for the permanent position by July. Butler said the search committee has met and set a deadline of June 14 for interested candidates. From there, the committee hopes to narrow down the candidates to only a few choices for the Board of Selectmen to interview and ultimately decide who takes over.

Tarsa said he is planning on applying for the position.

In other business, the Board of Selectmen set the annual town meeting for Monday, June 17, at 7 p.m. at C.T. Plunkett Elementary School. The warrant is now open for citizen petitions and will close on May 6.

The state primary election warrant was also set with polls open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30. Town election was set for Monday, May 6, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

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