By Linda Cicoira — When Robbie Fisher first became a police officer on Chincoteague in 1987, he envisioned becoming chief of the island’s police force. Last week, the town council finally gave him the job. Fisher starts July 1.
“I personally think anybody in most any job, but more so in law enforcement, wants to achieve the top rank,” Fisher said Monday. “I think that is what should be the goal. That was my goal. That’s the ultimate goal, the chief of police.”
Fisher retired from the Chincoteague Police Department three years ago and started working part time for Accomack Sheriff Todd Godwin. His last day as a deputy is Friday, June 28.
“I was happy at the sheriff’s office. Love all the guys there. Love my job. But it was in the back of my mind to become chief, to put in for it.” So when Chief Randy Mills retired recently, it was a no-brainer for Fisher. Fifty-five candidates applied for the job.
He said Mayor Arthur Leonard called him after the vote to let him know he got the job and to congratulate him.
Godwin said Monday, “I hate to lose him.”
“I had a lot of people ask me if I was going to go for it,” Fisher said. “If I hadn’t gone for it, I’d probably regret it. I want to thank the community for the support they’ve given me. I’m going to work hard to make them proud,” Fisher said.
Fisher left the Chincoteague department in 1989. He went back in 1992 and served a total of more than 25 years there. During that time he said he investigated murder, rape, robbery, arson, and other crimes.
After a closed session of the town council last week, Town Manager Jim West said, the council voted to appoint Fisher. Council members Matthew Reed and Denise Bowden, and Vice Mayor Ellen Richardson voted in favor. Councilmen Gene Wayne Taylor and Ben Ellis were opposed. Councilman Eddie Lewis, a former police chief, abstained as his son was also interested in the position. The mayor only votes to break a tie.
“The council voted for Robbie,” the mayor said. “I was there. I was non-voting. We had three good candidates and Robbie was the one who was selected.”
“Robbie is a fine young man,” Taylor said Monday. “I’m the kind of person who likes to hire from within. I didn’t vote against him. I, by no means, have anything against him.” Taylor said he wished they could have hired both Assistant Chief Bryan Lewis and Fisher for the job.
“I’m not at all unhappy with Mr. Fisher,” said Ellis. “When we did the interviews, I felt that one of the other candidates was much more qualified … These folks have known Mr. Fisher, I didn’t. I don’t have any problem with that whatsoever.”