A rare confluence of circumstances has led to four of the six Island towns dealing with the challenge of new leadership for their police departments — all at the same time.

The coincidental timing has elicited the usual calls for regionalizing law enforcement on the Island, but that is no more likely to happen than it has ever been, which is to say: it won’t.

In fact, the approach each of the towns has taken to its police chief search only underscores their different attitudes and culture, and their varying assessments of what is needed to get the job done.

In Chilmark, chief Jonathan Klaren was promoted from sergeant to the top spot in that small department eleven months ago, following the abrupt departure of former chief Brian Cioffi that was never fully explained. Chief Klaren has already proved to be an able leader. His sensitive handling of the recent fatal car accident involving a high school student is one example.

In neighboring West Tisbury, Lieut. Matthew Mincone is the heir apparent for retiring chief Dan Rossi. As in Chilmark and acting on the recommendation of Chief Rossi, the West Tisbury selectmen have decided to promote from within. Lieutenant Mincone, who is expected to be appointed by the selectmen in the next two weeks, has the trust and confidence of the town and the department behind him. That’s a good way to start any job, and with his experience and town knowledge, there is every expectation that he will succeed.

In Edgartown and Tisbury, town leaders will be casting a wider net as they search for their next police chiefs. Feeling the need for some fresh perspective on their police departments, both towns are using outside consultants. Openness and transparency will be vital components of the process.

Tisbury chief Dan Hanavan will retire in June when his contract is up — although he has already said he will stay on longer if needed since the search has just begun. The Tisbury department has been plagued by internal problems on and off for decades, some of them deeply entrenched. The recent firing by the selectmen of a longtime detective following more than one incident of misconduct has helped dispel some of the tension in the short term, but more change is needed. The selectmen have made it clear that they are looking for a new chief who can bring a fresh approach to community policing in the Island’s main port town, and that it may well be a candidate from the outside.

By contrast, in Edgartown the active search to replace Chief David Rossi, who took early retirement following a heart attack late last year, has gotten off to a rocky start. In a town that prides itself on being well run with relatively few internal squabbles, it came as a surprise to many when deep divisions reared their head in the police department.

Among other things, there is sharp disagreement about whether to promote from within or hire from the outside. Lieut. Chris Dolby, currently the highest ranking member of the department who is serving acting chief, has said that he will not apply for the job. Two sergeants in the department may or may not be candidates. The patrolmen’s union has jumped into the fray, questioning the selectmen’s choice to put former Chief Rossi on the search committee and asking for a seat at the table. The selectmen denied the request, but this week Mr. Rossi resigned from the committee anyway, not wanting to be a distraction. The town is using a Tewksbury search firm to help with the process.

The ultimate choice in all cases is up to the selectmen in each town, who need to resist being distracted by the cross currents of public opinion and second-guessing and identify the person who can best motivate and lead their local force.

Once a new roster of chiefs is in place, it will be up to them collectively to build on the foundation of Islandwide collaboration that is already in place to ensure that law enforcement on Martha’s Vineyard meets the varied needs of its residents and visitors.

Doing things regionally may never be the Island way, but cooperation and collaboration are certainly a good substitute.