CHATHAM – In May 2012, Mark Pawlina will have been a police officer for 37 and a half years. That, to him, seemed like a good time to try something different.
Earlier this month, Town Manager Jill Goldsmith extended Pawlina's contract as the town's chief of police through May 31, 2021, a six-month extension of his current agreement. Pawlina agreed that will be his final contract extension and he will step down as chief at that time.
“Thirty-seven years in law enforcement is enough for me,” he said last week. By the end of May 2021 he will have been Chatham's chief for 15 years; prior to coming here, he worked at the Hartford, Conn. police department, and was an assistant chief when he left to helm the Chatham department in 2006.
In 2021, Pawlina said, his daughter will have completed college it would be “time to think about doing something else.” He has no specific plans in mind, but will continue to work, he added.
“It seemed like a good time for a transition,” he said.
In May 2021, Pawlina will be a few weeks shy of 63, just under the state's mandatory retirement age for police and fire personnel, which is 65.
Goldsmith extended Pawlina's current contract, which ran from Jan. 18, 2016 to Jan. 17, 2021, in a supplemental employment agreement dated Jan. 11. The extension states that at the voluntary conclusion of the agreement, the chief shall provide “an official notice of his resignation/retirement.” All other terms of the current agreement remain in effect. According to the latest available listing of staff salaries, Pawlina made $174,913 in 2017.