DARTMOUTH - While the Town of Dartmouth has not formally selected a new Chief of Police to replace the retiring Robert Szala, the Select Board has approved to move forward with the process without the help of an outside search firm.

The Board voted unanimously Monday night to seek out applicants from within the Dartmouth Police Department, eliminating the need to hire a search firm.

Szala announced his retirement to the Board in December, after he suffered a mild heart attack in April that prevented him from returning to his regular duties as Chief of Police.

Select Board Chair Frank Gracie noted that Szala's retirement will likely take up to six months to finalize. At that time, a new Chief of Police will be chosen and installed.

Details of the search process have yet to be compiled. The Select Board weighed whether to utilize an assessment center, an evaluation process that the Select Board's recommendation would be subject to, as part of the search. The assessment center method could cost the Town up to $10,000, according to Town Administrator David Cressman.

Select Board member Shawn McDonald requested that discussion of the assessment center method be tabled for further consideration. A decision to post the job description and benefits package was also tabled.

Deputy Chief of Police Brian Levesque was appointed as acting police chief by the Select Board in May at a salary of $144,900.

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