Eastport resident Andrew Little, who worked two decades for the Philadelphia Police Department, is sworn in by City Clerk Ella Kowall as Eastport's police chief on Thursday, April 8, 2021. Credit: Courtesy of City of Eastport

Eastport has hired a former longtime officer with the Philadelphia Police Department as its next police chief.

Andrew Little, who moved to Eastport less than a year ago, was sworn in Thursday to head the small police department, according to James Porter, Eastport’s interim city manager. Little worked as a police officer in Philadelphia for about 20 years, most recently as a sergeant, Porter said. Little left his prior job in Philadelphia not long before moving to Eastport last year, he said.

“He’s going to start today,” Porter said Thursday.

Little’s salary as chief is $55,000, Porter said.

Additional information about Little was not available Thursday. Attempts to contact Little by phone after he was sworn in were not successful.

William Boone, chairman of the elected city council, said Thursday that the board voted unanimously on Wednesday in favor of Porter’s recommendation to hire Little. He said he was impressed with Little’s demeanor and enthusiasm.

“I feel very confident he will bring some professionalism back to the department and build the morale down there,” Boone said.

Little takes over a department that has a history of turnover, including the firing of his predecessor, Peter Harris, last fall. Harris appealed his firing by Porter’s predecessor, Thomas Hoskins II, and the city council offered him his job back, but Harris decided not to return.

Hoskins, who had been city manager for less than a year, was fired by the council in January.

Harris was the ninth person to serve as Eastport’s police chief in the past 10 years, according to the Quoddy Tides newspaper, which makes Little the city’s 10th police chief in that same time period.

The city also is looking to hire a long-term city manager. Hoskins was the fifth person to hold that position since 2010. Porter worked for the city of Calais for more than 20 years, the final four as city manager, before retiring from that job in 2018, according to The Calais Advertiser.

Boone said the council is grateful to Porter for helping to fill in, and that councilors hope to hire a new city manager before too long so Porter can “get out on the lakes and go fishing.” He said the council plans to interview several candidates this coming Monday.

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....