Surrounded by friends, family and fellow law enforcement officers on Tuesday, Jonathan Klaren was sworn in as the new chief of the Chilmark police department.

Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, conducted by town clerk Jennifer Christy, friends and family filed into the selectmen’s meeting room at the town hall, followed by most of the Chilmark police force, dressed in uniform, and senior law enforcement officers from around the Island.

Chilmark interim chief Tim Rich pinned the metal chief’s badge to Mr. Klaren’s uniform following the ceremony, during which Mr. Klaren had accepted his new responsibilities.

Fellow police officers stood in support of the new chief. — Mark Lovewell

“The journey has been long, challenging and humbling,” Mr. Klaren said in a prepared statement, recalling his first job in the department as a summer officer in 1989. He later served four years as a patrolman in Gay Head before joining the Chilmark department, where he became sergeant in 2004. “It’s not over. In many ways it’s just beginning.”

Mr. Klaren thanked town officials, family members, the Chilmark police department, the town community and others for their support over the years, starting with Mr. Rich, who as police chief in the 1980s first brought him aboard.

“It was nothing short of a true privilege to have had the opportunity to experience your leadership, mentoring, stability and your overall stewardship of the Chilmark police department,” Mr. Klaren said. “And I want to speak for dozens of other officers that experienced the same with me.”

He reserved special thanks for his wife, Kim, and daughter, Kelly, for their support.

“Unfortunately, my parents are not able to make it tonight, but they know how much I appreciate them and they’re thrilled and proud tonight,” he said.

Members of the Chilmark police department and other law enforcement officers stood against the walls of the meeting room with their hands folded.

“I appreciate your support that you all showed for me during this process,” Mr. Klaren told members of his department. “But more importantly, thank you for the professionalism and stability that you all demonstrated in the last few months. I’m excited for the future that awaits all of you as officers.”

He recalled gestures of good will that officers have shown each other and their community over the years. “It is incumbent on us to go out and continue to find ways to pass along these customs,” he said. “It’s not an easy time to be a police officer; it’s just going to get harder. So be proud, be safe.”

Addressing the Chilmark community at large, he pledged to continue working to earn its support as chief. “From this moment forward, it’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about the Chilmark police department’s partnership with this community.”

Earlier in the evening, the town selectmen signed a three-year contract and offer of employment, which they had worked out this month after Mr. Klaren was selected from a pool of 13 candidates from on and off the Island.

With Mr. Klaren’s support, the selectmen agreed to move forward in finding a new town police sergeant, noting the presence of “a strong in-house candidate.”

The vacancy will be posted in local papers.