ADAMS -- Selectmen chose a 29-year veteran of Adams Police Department to temporarily fill the shoes of retiring Police Chief Donald Poirot at a meeting Wednesday.
The department's first sergeant, Richard Tarsa, received the nod and will have his first day as its head on April 26, the day of Poirot's retirement.
"I'm humbled and honored by the process and to take the position of interim police chief," Tarsa said.
Tarsa hopes for a "smooth transition," adding that Poirot had "worked hard to get things on a good level" in the department. He begins shadowing Poirot on Monday.
The training he'll receive might end up serving him on a long-term basis, as Tarsa also noted his intentions of becoming a candidate to permanently fill the chief position in an interview after the meeting.
Regarding the larger application process, Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said he hopes the position is filled by July at Wednesday's meeting.
"The position will be advertised in a regional market starting next week," Butler said.
A police chief selection committee consisting of Butler and four other community members convened for the first time Tuesday night, and hope to whittle the pool of candidates down to three or four finalists by the first week in July.
In addition to police work, Tarsa has served as Chair of the Prudential Committee for many years and helped organize the Neighborhood Crime Watch program in 2010.
The latter group holds its next meeting at the Adams Visitors Center on Tuesday April 9 at 6 p.m. Tarsa and Kelly Russell, civilian advocate of the Elizabeth Freeman Center will be speakers.
Butler said Tarsa has "served very well with outreach to the public" and stands to benefit the department in public interface.
"We're very pleased [with the appointment]," he said. "[Tarsa] is a consummate professional in his service as sergeant."
Butler said if Tarsa's bid to permanently fill the role of police chief proves unsuccessful the police union will maintain his sergeant's position.
In other business at Wednesday's meeting, Selectmen scheduled annual Town Meeting for Monday, June 17 at Plunkett Elementary School at 7 p.m. They also opened Town Meeting's warrant to citizens petitions, and it will remain so until Monday, May 6 at 3:30 p.m.
Butler reported the town "ahead of the game" in terms of its fiscal 2014 budget planning process.
"We'll have plenty of time to sort out any issues that might arise [before June]," he said.
To reach Phil Demers, email