After more than a month fighting to keep the results of a community survey related to the search for the next Nantucket police chief out of the public eye, the town administration on Friday complied with a ruling from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office to release the tabulated results of the survey.
The release was prompted by a Freedom Of Information Act Request filed by the Current, which was denied by the town and subsequently appealed to the state.
The manner in which the town released the results, however, revealed very little new information and it's unclear why it fought so hard to keep them private.
Full responses to the survey were not shared by the town. Instead, it released pie charts showing the results of the first two questions of the survey: “What should the new Police Chief’s highest priorities be?” and “What does Nantucket need most in a Police Chief?”
For the remaining questions in the survey, it simply released the most mentioned words or phrases in the responses it received, showing how many responses the town received and how many times those words/phrases were mentioned.
The town claims it received more than 40 applications for the police chief job. Those candidates were reviewed by a five-member "Police Chief Search Group," along with the town's consultant, Public Safety Consultants, LLC, a firm that specializes in the recruitment of public safety personnel.
As of its last update on the search, the town had trimmed the pool of candidates down to seven individuals. Out of that group, five will be asked to participate in an "assessment center" in September.
At least one local candidate, former Massachusetts State Police Lt. Jack Moran, was not granted an interview and was told he is no longer among the candidates being considered.
Stay tuned for more on this story...