Det. Jeffrey LaBell and his wife Missie LaBell welcomed the arrival of baby Lark in March. Officer Seth Harlow and his wife Bonnie Kingsbury had baby Gunner in May. Island state trooper and former Oak Bluffs police officer Dustin Shaw and his wife Morgan Shaw had baby Lowen in June. Officer James Hagerty and his wife Alessandra Hagerty had baby William in July. And just last week, officer Tim Millerick and his fiancé René Will had baby Julian.

That’s five babies in five months for four Oak Bluffs police officers and one Island-assigned state trooper stationed in Oak Bluffs.

Police department is a family affair. Top: Seth Harlow with Gunner, Bonnie Kingsbury, Dustin Shaw, Morgan Shaw with Lowen, Rene Will with Julian, Tim Millerick. Front row: Alessandra Hagerty with William, James Hagerty with Julianna, Jeffrey LaBell with Lark, Missie LaBell with Leya. — Maria Thibodeau

But there was no pact. There was no discussion.

“I guess the stars aligned,” said Officer Hagerty.

If there is any coincidence at the Oak Bluffs police department, it is the age of the young officers. In the group of fathers, all are from 28 to 36 years old, said Officer Hagerty.

Evidently, this happens in cycles. A group of young officers will enter the department. They grow up together and reach a certain age where adding to their family seems right. Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake recalled when he was having his children about 10 years ago, Lieut. Timothy Williamson and Officer Christopher Wiggin were right there with him.

So it’s happened before. “But never on this scale,” Chief Blake said. And while there are some scheduling issues with paternity leave, the department knows what to expect. “We cover it,” the chief said.

On Wednesday, all the mothers, fathers and newborns gathered at the station for a group portrait. It was the first time everyone had been together at once. Mothers chatted and smoothed cowlicks. Fathers stood in uniform on the sidelines, watching. The officers discussed whether they should pose with hats or without them.

“It’s nice to have a group of people to bounce things off of,” said Morgan Shaw. Her baby Lowen is seven weeks old. The main question she had was about diapers and what size to start with. “It takes a lot of practice. Other people have different soothing techniques too.”

Officer Shaw had diaper concerns as well — he’d recently learned how to change them. Ms. Shaw said she was hopeful that the kids would grow up to be close friends. The group of mothers get together for their older children’s birthdays and she hoped the tradition would continue.

Everyone made their way to the front steps for a group picture. First, the mothers held their babies with the officers close behind. Then the moms carefully handed the babies over to the dads. When Ms. Will saw that young Julian was catching the noon sun on his face, she gently suggested to Officer Millerick that he hold the baby in his shaded arm.

“You’re a genius,” he said with a smile.

From four months to a week old, Oak Bluffs police babies on parade. — Maria Thibodeau

Chief Blake pulled in as the families were milling about. “I got to see how happy they are,” he said. “Becoming a parent really grounds you. It gives them roots in the community more than they already have. When we hire people we look for people that want to be part of the community. Millerick and Harlow are not from here but they assimilated, they love Martha’s Vineyard, they love Oak Bluffs. Settling down, it kind of cements them into the community,” he said.

Seeing the new families prompted the chief to reflect on the balance of his own family and his demanding career. “When you’re at work, you give all your time and energy to the people of your community and that’s what you get paid for,” he said. “But when you get home, you get to receive some of that energy back. Spending time with my kids, I’d rather do that than anything.”

After the picture, the families chatted in the shade. Ms. Kingsbury wondered about the status of another child’s belly button. A woman walking by, Sue O’Shura, stopped to look at all the young babies. She said her son was a Pennsylvania state trooper with young kids of his own.

Detective LaBell hesitated when he thought about whether Lark would join the police force. “We’ll see . . . we’ll see. It’s a good job for me but she can do whatever she wants . . . . We see some things that I wouldn’t want her to see. That’s what I’ll say about that.”

Trooper Shaw added that he thinks being an officer helped prepare him for fatherhood. “Being a good trooper taught me to be a good dad. You have to care for other people,” he said.

But there was no hesitatation when considering his life and the recent changes. “I just have to say, being an officer is the best job. Being a dad is even better.”