Retiring police chief Dolgos lauded for making Chestertown 'a better and safer place'

Lt. John Dolgos, who is retiring after 30 years with the Chestertown Police Department, receives a key to the city at the Monday, Sept. 20 mayor and council meeting. Making the presentation is Mayor David Foster.

Lt. John Dolgos, who is retiring after 30 years with the Chestertown Police Department, receives a key to the city at the Monday, Sept. 20 mayor and council meeting. Making the presentation is Mayor David Foster. Council members pictured are Meghan Efland, Tom Herz and Sam Shoge.

CHESTERTOWN — He’s had a long and stellar career in law enforcement, officials here told Lt. John Dolgos at Monday night’s mayor and council meeting.

Dolgos, 51, is retiring at the end of the month after 30 years, all with the Chestertown Police Department. For the last two years he has been the acting chief.

It is believed that he has the longest tenure with the CPD.

After giving his monthly report for August — cataloguing the number of service calls, manpower hours, criminal and accident investigations, and arrests — Dolgos was asked to remain at the podium as Mayor David Foster read a proclamation declaring Sept. 30, 2021 as John Dolgos Day in Chestertown and presented Dolgos with a ceremonial key to the city.

Dolgos received a standing ovation from the audience, Foster, council members Sam Shoge, Tom Herz and Meghan Efland (Councilman Ellsworth Tolliver was absent), Town Manager Bill Ingersoll and Town Clerk Jen Mulligan.

An emotional Dolgos thanked the mayor and council for the opportunity over the last two years, a time that he said where the communication and openness between town hall and a police chief “is the best I ever saw in my career here.”

He asked that that positive relationship continue with the new chief.

Dolgos thanked the Chestertown residents, allied police agencies and his family.

And lastly, turning to the audience, Dolgos said, “I don’t know if everybody knows, but I’m retiring Sept. 30th after 30 years here.”

According to the proclamation, he totaled 10,943 days on the job.

Dolgos, who grew up outside of Chestertown and attended Kent’s public schools, joined the CPD on Oct. 15, 1991.

“During his decades of public service, John became a face that everyone recognized and trusted while he faithfully represented the police department in the community and worked toward making Chestertown a safer and better place in which to live and work,” the proclamation reads.

In addition to his community law enforcement career, Dolgos was commended for his loyalty to the police department and the town, and the talents he displayed over years of public service, most notably as a volunteer of 35 years with the Kent-Queen Anne’s Rescue Squad.

Dolgos must retire at the end of the month due to the state pension system.

After 45 days of separating with the CPD, Dolgos could return in a new position.

Dolgos said in a phone interview Tuesday that he might be interested in coming back part time.

The town began advertising for a new chief in early spring with an application deadline of May 10.

Tolliver, Efland and Ingersoll vetted the pool of 38 applicants to three finalists.

In a closed-door special meeting Sept. 13, the mayor and council met with the finalists individually.

On their own, the mayor and each of the council members ranked the finalists.

Ingersoll announced at Monday’s meeting that there was enough of an overlap in the rankings that a clear front-runner had emerged.

The new chief will be named soon, Ingersoll said when he was asked about the timeframe.

“We have to get going. John’s leaving,” he said.

When Dolgos asked if there would be time for him to orient the new chief, what he referred to as a “transition period,” Ingersoll said “Yes.”

In a follow-up telephone interview Tuesday, Foster said “the answer should have been ‘We hope so.’”

With Dolgos due to retire in about a week, Foster said, “We cut it a little too close.”

As of Tuesday, no one had been hired, according to Foster, who also said he did not know if a job offer had been made.

It looks as if an interim chief would be named until there is a new hire. That likely will be the second in command, Sgt. Steve Lozar.

“We’re not going to be left without someone in charge,” Foster said.

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