Wrapping up his first week on the job, Tisbury’s new police chief Mark Saloio said he has spent much of his time sitting down individually with each employee in the department, from traffic officer to lieutenant.

“There’s a lot of learning. I’m just trying to be a sponge for the first few weeks,” he said. He took over for retiring chief Daniel Hanavan last week. He admits he’s not quite used to being called chief yet.

“I’ve always had an unwritten rule that when we’re one on one, I expect first names,” he said of his conversations with officers. “I’m going to get the respect of my position based on how I do my job, not based on whether someone calls me chief or not.”

Chief Mark Saloio: “Little Tisbury is known around the world.” — Mark Alan Lovewell

Sitting at his desk at the Tisbury police station, Chief Saloio wore his full duty rig. The belt contains his extra magazines, flashlight, gun and pepper spray, and he doesn’t plan to take it off. It’s a habit he learned from Chief Thomas Ford in Sturbridge, where he worked for about 20 years before moving to the Island this fall, most recently as administrative lieutenant.

“I’m a police officer,” Mr. Saloio said. “The men that work for me need to know that if there’s a call that comes in, I’m fully prepared and willing to go out and respond to that call with them. Or if they’re busy, I may take that call. We’re a small department. That’s what we do.”

The new chief takes the helm in Tisbury following a period of staff shortages. Last spring, former chief Daniel Hanavan told the selectmen that the department, which is budgeted for 14 full-time officers, was down to eight as the summer season approached. The problem persists, though two new officers are expected to graduate from the academy early next year. Mr. Saloio said recruiting and hiring will be a top goal for him.

“My biggest priority is to get some officers in the door here,” he said. Beyond that, he declined to comment on the department’s past.

“It’s really not my job or my place, quite frankly,” he said.

He first visited his new town about 17 years ago. It was the first time he was introduced to his wife’s family when they were still dating, he recalled. They took a ferry from Falmouth to Vineyard Haven.

“At the time, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be the Tisbury police chief,” he said. Since then, he and his wife Maera have visited the Island regularly. After Mr. Saloio was hired as chief, Ms. Saloio took a job at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

Discussing his approach to leadership and policing, pride and professionalism comes up again and again.

“Little Tisbury is known around the world,” the chief said. “We have people from all over the world that are stepping off the ferry only a few hundred yards away from the police department. I think it’s very important that we look polished that we look presentable that we look professional.”

Another goal is achieving certification and accreditation for the department from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission. The organization recognizes police departments that prove and maintain adherence to dozens of professional industry standards. Mr. Saloio oversaw accreditation at his former department in Sturbridge. On the Island, only the West Tisbury department has achieved full accreditation.

Mr. Saloio also plans to have an open door policy, and said he had already sat down with a community member to discuss a parking concern.

“This is a public building . . . This is your building,” he said of the police department.

Later while driving down State Road in a police cruiser, the police scanner crackling, Mr. Saloio passed the Tashmoo Overlook, the cemetery, houses decorated with pumpkins and scarecrows and a crowded post office parking lot. Reaching the bottom of the hill, he took in Five Corners.

“This is funny, this Five Corners intersection,” he said. “I’ve noticed people with stop signs don’t stop, and people without stop signs do stop.”

Just one of the countless small peculiarities of Tisbury, the town known around the world.