Ashland's Search for Police Chief

Announcing candidates for the Ashland Police Chief Position

Posted on March 26, 2022 at 10:37 AM

Dear Community Member,

I would like to take this opportunity to share the latest update regarding our search for a new Police Chief. I am pleased to announce two candidates as finalists for the Ashland Police Chief position.

*Cara Rossi is a Lieutenant in the Natick Police Department where she has been on the force since 1994. She currently serves as the Commanding Officer of the Community Services and Traffic Division. Prior to that, she served as Commanding Officer of the Operations Division. Prior to her police career, Cara worked for the Department of Youth Services as a Case Worker. Lt. Rossi graduated with a MA in Criminal Justice from Anna Maria College.

*Samuel Santiago is currently the Police Chief in the town of Shirley, Massachusetts, and is a 19 year veteran of the department. Prior to becoming Chief, he was a Police Sergeant and Patrol Supervisor. Chief Santiago is also an adjunct faculty member at Anna Maria College. Chief Santiago holds a Masters In Public Administration from Clark University, an MS in Criminal Justice, and an MBA from Anna Maria College, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Criminal Justice from the California University of Pennsylvania.

The Police Chief search yielded 14 candidates. After a review of resumes, six of those candidates were moved forward to be interviewed by an independent screening committee. After the interviews, the screening committee agreed to advance these two candidates for final interviews. The process will continue with me interviewing both candidates. These interviews will take place on Thursday night, March 31st, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and broadcast on WACA TV. The public is encouraged to watch and provide feedback after the interviews: My email is The process will conclude with an offer of employment extended contingent upon a satisfactory background check. 

Acting Chief Briggs elected not to pursue the permanent Chief position. Gratefully, he has agreed to continue as Acting Chief until a new Chief is selected.

I wish to extend a thank-you to Chief Briggs for his ongoing leadership. Additionally, I extend a thank-you to the Screening Committee members: Superintendent Jim Adams, Izzy Assencoa, Retired Fire Capt. Micheal Brogan, Retired Police Chief Bob Gonfrade, Makeda Keegan, and Fiona Sirur, as well as all of the residents who participated in surveys and focus groups as part of the process.


Michael Herbert

Town Manager

Continue reading the rest of this week's newsletter,

An Update on Ashland's Search for Police Chief

October 31, 2021

Ashland is in the process of searching for a new permanent Police Chief while the department continues under the stewardship of Acting Chief Briggs. 

The role of the Police Chief is a critically important and visible position in the town. While the position is appointed by the Town Manager, it is vital that the person appointed reflects the vision and characteristics of the community. Therefore, public input will be a part of my selection process. In order to help with that process, I have asked Retired Chief John Moore to help gather community input and incorporate that input into a candidate profile. That input will be gathered formally in two ways:

1) Next week, a brief survey will be available that the public can take to let me know what you are looking for in your next Police Chief. This survey will help us identify what you think are the most important attributes, skills, and abilities that our next Police Chief should possess. This will also be an opportunity for you to let me know what you feel are the most important issues that you would like to see the next Police Chief address. This survey will be open until Nov 30th. Access the survey here

2) During the same period, I will also be convening a series of focus groups to help explore in greater detail specific subject areas. More information to come. 

After this input is obtained, we will develop a candidate profile which will be used to help us find our ideal candidate. Applications will be accepted and reviewed by myself and our Human Resources Director, and candidates that are moved forward will meet with a screening committee, who will, in turn, recommend one or more finalists to me. Those finalists will be interviewed in public session, with an offer of employment extended afterward subject to meeting certain requirements and provisions. 

I hope that you can invest a little bit of your time in helping me with this selection. Your input will help ensure that we have the right Police Chief for Ashland.

-Michael Herbert
Town Manager

Announcing the Employment Profile for the Police Chief

Ashland continues the search for a new permanent Police Chief after Police Chief Alfano re-entered retirement and Lieutenant Richard Briggs became Acting Chief.

The Police Chief is a crucial element of creating a community. It is an important and visible position. While the Town Manager appoints this position, it is vital that the appointed individual reflect the vision and characteristics of the community.

For these reasons, we found it important to include the public in the process of seeking a new Police Chief. I thank each of you that took the time to contact me; and completed the community survey conducted in late November.

In addition to the public comments and survey feedback, I also met with individuals, formed a focus group, exploring specific subject areas in detail. With your help and input, I am happy to share the Employment Profile seeking our next Police Chief, please view the link below.

Qualified and interested candidates should submit a Resume and Letter of Interest with Qualifications to Human Resources by emailing, subject: Police Chief Search, or by mail to the Town of Ashland, Human Resources Office 101 Main Street, Ashland, MA. 01721, Attn: Police Chief Search.

Our Human Resources Director and I will accept and review applications. Candidates that move forward will meet with a screening committee. The Committee will then recommend one or more finalists to me. Those finalists will then interview in public session, with an offer of employment extended afterward subject to meeting certain requirements and provisions.   

View the Employment Profile here