TORRINGTON – After a short executive session at the end of the Torrington City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday night, Torrington Mayor Randy Adams appointed Mike Matthews as the interim chief of the Torrington Police Department.
The appointment was necessary after former chief Tim Hurd wasn’t re-appointed to his position on Jan. 7. This is Matthews’ second stint as interim chief. His first tenure was in 2018 after another interim chief, Doug Weeks, declined the full-time chief position.
Weeks had been serving as interim chief since 2016, appointed in the wake of former chief Eric Sharp’s dismissal.
Matthews said his focus in the role will be to keep the department running as smoothly and professionally as possible during the search for a new chief.
“This isn’t my first time coming in as the interim chief,” Matthews, who has been with the TPD since 2001, said. “This will be my second time. It’s going to be business as usual, and we’ll still be looking at people to hire and go on serving the community.
“I try and set goals. We meet with our administration and go over stuff and work on what we’re doing while we wait for the mayor to appoint a new chief.”
Adams said the reason for Hurd’s dismissal is a personnel matter and likely won’t be made public, but he did offer the assembly a rundown of the timeline for his decision. Adams said he had fully intended to re-appoint Hurd on Jan. 7, but received information that morning that triggered an internal investigation.
“That came about during that day,” Adams said. “When I came to work Tuesday morning, my plan was to appoint him. Some information came to me, and it was substantial enough that I took it to attorney Eddington. Jim determined that we should open an investigation.
“Throughout the rest of the day, we talked to people who are involved in this. At the end of the day, it was clear that we could not continue with the appointment. That night he was not appointed and he was placed on administrative leave.”
The investigation was not a criminal investigation, Adams said on Jan. 8. Hurd and the city agreed to and signed a separation agreement on Jan. 11.
“Over the next couple of days, we continued that investigation, and by the end of the week we decided he would not continue as our chief of police,” Adams said.
“We got enough information to justify his release.”