Police Chief David Majenski will step down from day-to-day oversight of the Abington Police Department effective Dec. 31, and officially retire one year from today, according to an agreement between Majenski and the town.
“The Town of Abington, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, have entered into an employment agreement with Chief Majenski to provide for the final year of Chief Majenski’s employment before his retirement, August 31,2021. The Town of Abington, the Board of Selectmen and the Town Manager would like to thank Chief Majenski for his dedicated service to the Town for 32 years. Chief Majenski would like to offer his appreciation to the men and women of the Abington Police Department, who he is honored to have served alongside for throughout his law enforcement career.”
The agreement converts more than 1,700 hours of accrued sick time to personal time, which Majenski will use to remain on the town payroll until Aug. 31, 2021, when he will officially retire.
Deputy Chief Chris Cutter will retain his deputy chief status but effectively temporarily take over day-to-day management of the police department.
“He’ll be in charge for all intents and just purpose like any other day the chief is out,” said Town Manager Scott Lambiase.
Selectmen met in executive session on multiple occasions earlier this summer to discuss labor negotiating strategy for non-union personnel, which typically refers to department heads. Board members, however, refused to say whether they were discussing the chief’s contract. On Monday afternoon, a copy of the signed agreement was posted in an Abington-centric Facebook group by Bill Cormier, who ran for selectman this past year and has been vocal in his opposition to Majenski.
Majenski will receive $182,316 for his unused sick, vacation, and personal days, under the agreement.
Both sides also agree not to disparage each other publicly. If a future employer calls for a job referral, the town is required to say that Majenski retired as an employee “in excellent standing.”
Lambiase told the Abington News that there was nothing adversarial about the agreement, simply that the two sides had agree to part ways.
“We appreciate all the years of Chief Majenski’s service,” he said.
Selectmen declined to comment on the agreement.
“It speaks for itself,” said Selectman Jim Connolly.
The process for hiring the next police chief is spelled out in the town charter, which says the Town Manager is responsible for hiring the police chief, in consultation with the Board of Selectmen. . Lambiase said early next year he will bring in at least three outside police professionals to evaluate prospective candidates, as required by the charter.
The chief’s future has been in question since April 2019, when he announced he would retire in July 2020. However, that letter was rescinded in April 2020.
In the meantime, the Board of Selectmen oversaw a 2019 Town Meeting-approved review of department policies in an effort to have improvements ready when Majenski did retire. The analysis found the department did well compared to other similar-sized police departments and was complimentary of the fact Abington is one of just 86 departments in Massachusetts to achieve accreditation. However, it did identify a number of areas where changes could be made, and confirmed deep divisions within the department. Between 2004 and 2019, 55 full-time officers left the department – a rate considered more than “excessive.”
In a pair of lengthy letters sent to selectmen, Dep. Chief Cutter forcefully disputed many of the report’s findings.