Erik G. Blake, chief of police for Oak Bluffs, has been elected to serve as the president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.
Mr. Blake is the first Vineyard chief to lead the Grafton-based organization. He will be sworn in on Dec. 12 in Falmouth, and will serve for one year.
“In addition to being a huge honor for Chief Blake, I think it’s a huge honor for our community,” said town administrator Bob Whritenour at the Oak Bluffs selectmen’s meeting Tuesday. “For our town to have the chief be the president of the chiefs of police, I think that’s great.”
The selectmen also offered their congratulations.
“I commend Chief Blake on this,” said chairman Walter Vail.
“It’s fabulous,” said selectman Kathy Burton.
In his new unpaid position, Mr. Blake said he will advocate for the interests of police chiefs statewide. “We are the organization that runs for the good of police chiefs,” he said. “We are the people that chiefs turn to for policies and procedures.”
The statewide association also runs the legal defense fund for chiefs, and the municipal police institute, which provides police training. Once a month, he will run the executive board meeting, in addition to the quarterly association-wide meetings.
The organization counts more than 400 members, including municipal state and campus police chiefs.
“For the next 12 months, he will be the spokesperson and the representative for the entire law enforcement in the commonwealth,” said Wayne Sampson, executive director of the Massachusetts Chiefs Association. He said Mr. Blake has been active on law enforcement issues both statewide and nationally for several years.
“Chief Blake is truly very highly considered in our profession around the entire state,” Mr. Sampson said.
Currently, Mr. Blake serves as the highest-ranked vice president in the organization.
In 2008, he served as president of the Southeastern Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.
“I am very proud to take this position,” he said.