The Tisbury police department is facing an officer shortage as summer approaches, selectmen learned this week.

“We had one officer in the last month transfer to West Tisbury, and I received word from a second officer that he’s going to retire April 30,” police chief Daniel Hanavan told selectmen at their meeting Tuesday. Mr. Hanavan also has plans to retire this summer.

Come May, the department will be down to eight full-time officers, the chief said. Town administrator Jay Grande said the department is budgeted for 14 full-time officers. Mr. Grande said as many as three prospective officers are either attending the police academy or will attend in the fall, but the department is facing a shortage for the summer.

A blackout cake from the Black Dog for Mr. Gomez. — Holly Pretsky

Chief Hanavan asked selectmen to appoint Brian Cioffi as a special officer for a six-month period running until November.

The chief said he had been running an ad seeking summer officers with little success. “I was being proactive reaching out to Mr. Cioffi because I know he is an experienced police officer that can help us through the summer,” Mr. Hanavan said.

Mr. Cioffi is the former Chilmark police chief. He abruptly stepped down in 2016 for reasons that were never fully explained.

Selectman Tristan Israel was hesitant to approve the appointment. He said he wanted to address the broader issue of police department staffing and asked about how positions are being advertised.

“I’d really like to just spend a little time to look at all our options, especially if you have an ad in the paper,” Mr. Israel said. “I’m not saying this candidate wouldn’t be good, I just want to have a thorough discussion of what our needs are going to be and who’s going to fill them.

Selectman Melinda Loberg said she was willing to make the short-term appointment.

“I also want us to really intensify just analyzing what’s going on and how we’re going to achieve the employment needs that we need,” she said. “If it means we need to reach out to our neighboring towns for mutual support and aid, I think we should explore that.”

Selectmen voted to appoint Mr. Cioffi as a special officer and Julia Levesque as a crossing guard for the summer. Selectman Larry Gomez abstained.

In other police business, selectmen voted to hire Strategic Policy Partnership LLC, a West Tisbury consulting firm run by Robert Wasserman, to recruit candidates for a new chief.

Mr. Hanavan’s contract ends in June 2019, but he announced early this year that he would like to retire as soon as this summer.

Selectmen expressed optimism they could find a new chief before summer’s end, and also gratitude to Chief Hanavan.

“We have the luxury of having you here, and I hope we have that luxury as long as we can coerce — I mean get you to stay,” Mr. Israel said.

Mr. Gomez again abstained.

Selectmen reviewed plans for improvements on the Beach Road corridor. Mr. Grande said he received design plans last week from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for the project, which is estimated to cost $5.2 million.

The plan includes sidewalks, a bicycle path, stormwater drainage, lighting and removal of utility poles among other improvements.

Mr. Grande said the DOT expects to put the project out to bid in May 2019. He said when he receives a digital copy, the plan will be posted on the town website for public review.

Mr. Israel had misgivings about the project.

“We’re not being given the plan I thought we were being given,” he said. “What I do think we are owed is a presentation by the state to us of that plan.”

Selectmen voted to allow Mr. Grande to organize a public meeting with the Martha’s Vineyard Commission to discuss the improvements with state representatives.

They also discussed improvements to Owen Park. Planning board chairman Ben Robinson presented a concept sketch for the entrance area to the park adjacent to Main street. The sketch emphasizes increased access, including for people with disabilities.

Mr. Robinson said the board plans to work with the engineering firm Environmental Partners and landscaping firm Offshoots Inc. He said he hopes to begin upgrades next fall with $76,000 in community preservation funds and additional funds from other sources.

Selectmen also continued a discussion of aquaculture regulations with shellfish constable Danielle Ewart. A public hearing is tentatively planned for mid-June.

It was the last meeting for Mr. Gomez the board chairman, who is not seeking reelection after serving a single three-year term. He took time to reflect on his tenure.

“It’s a pleasure working for the town. I hope other people do the same thing and volunteer, especially all the young folks we have out there,” Mr. Gomez said. He also thanked his fellow selectmen, the public, Mr. Grande and Mr. Grande’s assistant Alexandra Kral.

Selectmen returned the thanks.

“You’re an honest, straightforward guy, and I really appreciate that about you,” Mr. Israel said.

“While you may graduate from this seat, I fully expect to rope you back in some fashion,” Ms. Loberg said.

Mr. Gomez was presented with a blackout cake, a signature confection from the Black Dog Bakery.

Mr. Robinson volunteered a last thought during public comment, but not before Mr. Gomez reminded him about the three minute limit.

“My comment is purely to thank Larry for his service,” Mr. Robinson said with a smile. “When he’s out here in the audience with us, remember your three-minute rule.”