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Granville may hire Monson police chief
Thursday, March 17, 2005
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Police Chief Curtis M. McKenzie is likely to become the full-time chief in Granville, a tiny town on the Connecticut border.

Kathryn Martin, administrative assistant to the town of Granville, confirmed yesterday that McKenzie is negotiating a contract with selectmen there. McKenzie tendered his resignation as Monson's chief effective on April 15, 2½ months before his contract was set to expire without being renewed.

Granville, boasting a population of just over 1,500, has about eight part-time officers, according to state police who provide coverage for the town.

McKenzie was expected to leave Monson on June 30, the last day of his three-year pact with the town. Selectmen voted in November to notify the chief that his contract would not be renewed when it expired in June, though they have not given a reason for their action.

Since then, the chief has filed nomination papers, and his name will appear on the ballot for a selectman's seat in the April 4 election. McKenzie is one of three candidates vying for a seat now held by James R. Manning, who is not running for re-election.

Selectmen accepted the chief's resignation on Tuesday, and will soon begin planning how to hire his replacement.

"After Curtis has left, we'll have to make a decision," said Selectman Richard E. Guertin.

The board could choose to promote someone from the department or conduct a search for outside candidates, Guertin said.

It is likely that the board will tap Sgt. Stephen Kozloski for at least some time, Guertin said. Kozloski served as interim chief before McKenzie was hired, but was not then interested in the chief's job.

Guertin said he was hopeful that Kozloski might change his mind now.

"I think we'll take a good, hard look at Steve," he said.

Kozloski could not be reached for comment, but Guertin said the sergeant has been handling many of the tasks involved with running the department. Selectmen this week named Policeman James E. Boucher as acting sergeant.

While McKenzie will leave his job sooner than expected, he is entitled to a severance package, though Guertin would not disclose the amount. The money was not included in the town's fiscal 2005 budget, but will have to be paid.

Guertin said it is possible that town meeting voters will be asked to fund the cost.

McKenzie did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
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