John Shively, a sergeant with the Gouldsboro Police Department, was hired Oct. 24 to become the town's next chief of police. Credit: Courtesy of the town of Gouldsboro

Gouldsboro has hired a new chief of police, filling a position that has been vacant since late June, when the previous chief resigned before a town-wide vote on whether to disband the police department.

John Shively, who has been a police officer with the town since December 2017, was hired Oct. 24 to lead the small department, which voters last summer overwhelmingly decided to keep.

Shively had been a sergeant prior to former Chief Tyler Dunbar’s resignation in June, according to interim Gouldsboro Town Manager Eve Wilkinson. She said the board voted 5-0 to offer him the chief’s job after he had successfully kept the department running after Dunbar’s departure.

“He seems to be a good fit,” Wilkinson said.

With Shively’s promotion to chief, the town is looking to hire another full-time officer and perhaps a part-time officer, she said. Including the chief, the department comprises two full-time positions and one part-time position.

Shively, who became chief immediately following the Oct. 24 vote, is on vacation this week and unavailable for comment, according to Wilkinson.

According to a brief bio of Shively on the town’s website, the new chief grew up in Raymond and has worked both as an armed security guard and as a reserve officer for the Wells Police Department. He is a graduate of Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, and is a veteran of both the Marine Corps Reserve and the Army National Guard, having previously deployed to Afghanistan.

Gouldsboro has a history of turnover in the police chief position.

In 2016, Paul Gamble was fired from the position after town officials faulted him for using a town credit card to pay for gas in his personal pickup truck, according to a lawsuit he subsequently filed against the town. The next year, Gamble settled the lawsuit with the town for $67,500, according to the Ellsworth American.

Guy Wycoff was fired from the position twice — once in July 2002, before he was reinstated a few weeks later, and then again in 2008.

As for Gouldsboro’s town manager position, Wilkinson said selectmen are going through applications but have yet to schedule interviews with candidates for the job. Wilkinson, who retired as Gouldbsboro’s town manager in 2015 after holding the post for several years, has been filling on an interim basis since Sherri Cox stepped down as town manager in August.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....