The Select Board is moving forward to find a permanent police chief.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that, based on one of two options offered by member Andy Hogeland, Town Manager Jason Hoch will move forward to identify an interim chief in an abbreviated search.

It looks like community input will deduce what the department will look like and also what the community wants to see in a permanent police chief.

Once these steps are completed, a professional search firm would be engaged for the four or five-month process of finding a permanent chief.

Kerri Nichol, said a professional researcher has been engaged and will start a “full-scale research project” Feb. 15.

Hoch said he will assemble an advisory group to express views on what is needed in an interim chief. He added that anyone interested in serving on such a group should contact him at jhoch@williamstownma.gov.

The town is looking for a replacement for former Chief Kyle Johnson, who stepped down in December. Kyle had been accused of sexual harassment and racial bias in a federal lawsuit by Sgt. Scott McGowan of the same department. McGowan withdrew his suit after Johnson's departure.

During this time, the town will pursue an investigation into allegations raised about sexual and racial harassment within the town police department and with a study of what a social work arm of the department could achieve.

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