Tisbury selectmen voted to offer the job of police chief to Sturbridge administrative lieutenant Mark Saloio following a public interview and forum at the public safety building Thursday evening.

“On paper, Mark is super qualified and very professional, and he has a great demeanor and great strength,” selectman Melinda Loberg said shortly before the vote. “I think he would be a great asset to our town.”

Mr. Saloio was the lone candidate for the job to replace Chief Daniel Hanavan, who is retiring.

His hourlong interview with selectmen and the brief public forum that followed ranged in topic from his leadership style to Vineyard winters to policing in undocumented communities. Mr. Saloio cited his 25 years of experience in law enforcement connecting with the Sturbridge elder community, responding to a 2011 tornado, achieving department accreditation and strategizing to practice law enforcement in a fluctuating population.

He repeatedly emphasized his commitment to living on the Island long term. He said he and his wife Meara had discussed moving to the Island even before the job opened up.

“My wife and I for last several years have really been making it a priority to move to the Vineyard,” he said. “I was coming to the Vineyard regardless . . .”

He said he had spent time on the Island both in summer and the off-season.

“I want to finish my career here, and I want to remain here.” he said, later estimating he had between seven and eight years before retirement.

Many of the selectmen’s questions focused on leadership and department organization. Mr. Saloio said he had served in virtually every position in the Sturbridge department, including as acting chief. He described his morning routine, which includes checking in with his fellow officers, taking time to ask about their families and their lives.

“Those are the most important 10 minutes of my day . . . because now everyone is comfortable talking with me. If people are not comfortable talking with you, the organization is not going to be successful,” he said. “The first thing I need to do is establish good, honest communication.”

He said in a 14-member department like Tisbury’s, there is no excuse not to know about each of the officers’ lives. He went on to emphasize the importance of listening to all perspectives.

“I’ve learned it’s essential to do a lot of listening, and there are very few things you have to make an instant decision on,” he said.

Selectman Jim Rogers asked about discipline.

“Do you have any ideas about changing the environment so we have a process of officers learning from their mistakes?” he said.

Mr. Saloio said he focuses on positive reinforcement over negative consequences and discipline in most scenarios.

“Coaching and mentoring is what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “If we’re not talking about something egregious, then you’re supposed to coach and you’re supposed to mentor.”

Also of interest was the relationship between the police chief and town leadership. Selectman and board chairman Tristan Israel asked how Mr. Saloio would handle a situation where he was asked to enforce a policy he did not believe in.

“If you were going to come out with a policy I didn’t think was right, I have an obligation to appropriately let you know what my opinion is,” Mr. Saloio said. “But you set the policies for the town.”

Mr. Israel and Mrs. Loberg described Tisbury's population as diverse, noting its large Brazilian community. Ms. Loberg asked how Mr. Saloio saw himself approaching issues involving people who may be undocumented. He said enforcing federal immigration laws would not fall under his purview.

“There’s no statutory authority I have to do anything regarding illegal immigration, and nor do I want to frankly,” he said.

As to policing in a diverse community, Mr. Saloio mentioned travels to Italy and France and said his grandparents immigrated to the United States from Portugal.

“I appreciate other cultures. I appreciate learning from other cultures,” he said. “My job as a police officer is to treat [people] fairly and with respect regardless of their culture.”

Asked during the public forum about the opioid epidemic, Mr. Saloio said it’s an issue he is constantly aware of, and every Sturbridge officer carries Narcan to respond to overdoses. He said he did not think it is an issue that can be solved with arrests.

“You really have to have an approach that combines rehabilitation and education with enforcement when appropriate,” he said. He said addiction is a medical as well as a legal issue.

As the evening came to a close, Mr. Israel thanked the town police chief interview committee, which included representatives from the business community, social services, the school committee and Island law enforcement.

“The process in my mind was flawless,” Mr. Israel said.