Kenneth Charles named Farmington’s new police chief

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Kenneth Charles will begin his new position as chief of the Farmington Police Department on Feb. 15.

FARMINGTON – It was unanimous among the nine-person search committee that Franklin County detective Kenneth Charles was the right person to fill the position for Farmington’s new police chief. Charles will be confirmed for the position on Tuesday during the Board of Selectmen’s meeting at 6:30 p.m. and his official start date will be Monday, Feb. 15.

“He rose above the other candidates and presented himself with professionalism, experience, expertise and a good attitude,” said Town Manager Richard Davis, who was involved in the search committee process. “I’m satisfied that he’ll do a good job as our new police chief.”

Charles comes from a family of law enforcement officials, including his brothers, detective Steve Charles and deputy police chief at Roanoke Police Department, Eric. Charles’ father was also in law enforcement, making Charles’ new position in Farmington the latest example in a lineage of protecting and serving communities.

“It’s exciting and I’m comfortable moving into the position. It’s a strong department and I know I’ll have a lot of support, but when you’re following people like Jack Peck, you know you’ve got big shoes to fill,” said Charles.

Peck served as Farmington’s police chief for 10 years until leaving the department in 2020, and big shoes or not, Charles is no stranger to the community or the demands of law enforcement management.

“This is a job about relationships, and I’ve lived in Farmington for almost 30 years now. I know these people and I know what to expect,” said Charles.

Charles will be coming to the position with more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement, emergency medical services, health care and military operations. He’s been working within the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department since 2002, where he has filled several positions, including that of detective since 2013. In 2014, Charles was named Deputy of the Year for the third time, and in 2019, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties awarded him in recognition for his service as a detective. Between 2017 and 2020, Charles served as an instructor in the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program at Maine’s Criminal Justice Academy.

“That program trains 300 men and women to prepare them for a career in law enforcement. Working there was about encouraging those men and women to be the best officers that they could be,” said Charles.

His familiarity with the program required for all members entering Maine’s Police Academy will help him as he shifts his focus to what the Farmington department most needs.

“I’ll be adapting those skills I developed there to the local department. I don’t anticipate coming in like a wrecking ball, making a ton of changes. It’s already a solid department, but there will be a priority on filling those vacancies, getting those new hires acquainted with the community,” said Charles.

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