The chiefs of police in Tisbury and West Tisbury have announced plans to retire, leaving vacancies in the top police job in two of the six Island towns.

West Tisbury police chief Dan Rossi confirmed this week that he had sent a letter to the town selectmen announcing he will retire. Chief Rossi, who served eight years as chief and another year as acting chief, said he will step down on June 2, 2018.

“I’ve been doing this for 27 years,” the chief said. “I have three grandchildren that I don’t get to see a lot. It’s time to let somebody else do it.”

He operated a landscape and construction company on the Island before joining the police department at the age of 30, following training at the police academy in Needham. He succeeded former police chief Beth Toomey.

Tisbury chief Dan Hanavan has been on the beat in his town for decades. — Ivy Ashe

Among other accomplishments, Chief Rossi managed the department’s move from the cramped headquarters near Mill Pond to a new 5,600-square-foot public safety complex on State Road.

Chief Rossi said he has been thinking about moving on for some time. In addition to visiting family more often, he expects to get in plenty of golf and fishing next summer.

“I’m eligible for retirement, I want to do some other things,” he said. “It’s a good job, I’m just ready. You know when you’re ready, and I’ve known for awhile.”

Law enforcement and public service run in the Rossi family. Chief Rossi’s brother David is the chief of police in Edgartown, and his brother William is chairman of the Chilmark selectmen.

At their weekly meeting Wednesday, the West Tisbury selectmen accepted Chief Rossi’s retirement letter.

Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd, a sergeant with the police department, read the letter aloud. “I feel I have achieved goals set out for myself and the police department,” the chief wrote. “As far as the state of the department, I have said publicly West Tisbury has one of, if not the best, police departments on the Island.”

In the letter the chief recommended Lieut. Matt Mincone, who has been with the department for more than 20 years, as his replacement. Lieutenant Mincone has “worked tirelessly over the years to put the department where it should be,” he said, adding that the transition would be seamless. “It is my recommendation both personally and professionally that he become the next chief of police.”

Mr. Manter added his own words of appreciation. “I personally and professionally will take this moment to thank Danny for all he’s done for myself and the department,” he said.

“There will be many moments to thank you,” selectman Cynthia Mitchell told Chief Rossi, who also attended the meeting.

The board voted 2-0 to accept the chief’s retirement notice with regret. Mr. Manter abstained.

Meanwhile, there will also be a change in the near future at the top of the Tisbury police department, though the time frame is less certain.

Police chief Dan Hanavan is not expected to renew his contract next year. The chief has discussed informally with the town administrator a new short-term contact, possibly a month-to-month arrangement, while the town searches for a new chief. Chief Hanavan has not formally notified the town of his intention to retire when his current two-year contract expires on June 30, 2018.

“Over the last year I’ve been talking to Dan about the future,” said town administrator John (Jay) Grande. “It’s not something you want to be up against a final deadline before you start thinking and planning for that kind of succession. He’s expressed to me his desire to help us out during that transition period.”

Chief Hanavan was hired by the selectmen in June of 2010 to lead the department. He began full time with Tisbury police in 1989. Before that he worked part time for the Dukes County sheriff and the town of Edgartown.

Chief Hanavan served a stint as acting chief, after former chief John Cashin resigned under pressure.

Selectman Tristan Israel said Chief Hanavan was exactly what the town needed as it worked to solve internal conflicts within the department.

“Dan has been great — he filled a niche when it was needed” Mr. Israel told the Gazette. “I think he was the right guy at the right time.”

Mr. Israel said he knew the chief has been in discussion with the town administrator and he expects the selectmen will discuss the next steps, including a search, at their next meeting on Nov. 7.

Sara Brown contributed reporting.