Tisbury offered the harbor master job this week to an Island police officer with more than a decade of experience in the U.S. Coast Guard. 

The select board voted Tuesday to tap Edgartown police officer Gary Kovack for the role, with harbor master John Crocker set to retire next week. The town will now enter negotiations with Mr. Kovack, a Tisbury resident with two children in the town’s elementary school.

Mr. Kovack, a school resource police officer and a senior reserve officer at the Woods Hole Coast Guard station, told the select board in a public interview Tuesday that he would bring strong leadership and maritime knowledge to the position, though it would be a new experience for him. 

He detailed times where he deescalated disagreements as a police officer in Edgartown, and worked to build camaraderie with fellow Coast Guard members. 

If hired, Mr. Kovack told the board he would get up to speed on all aspects of the harbor department, getting to know all the roles and their duties.

“I need to learn everything,” he said. “I need to do every job that I have to tell people to do.” 

Mr. Kovack beat out two other finalists, Michael Gately and Micahel Wilson, for the job. 

Mr. Gately, who was interviewed virtually while onboard a vessel in Lithuania, is a master with Hoegh LNG — a global company that helps developers with marine infrastructure projects. He also worked seasonally in Island harbors, he said. 

Mr. Wilson is a private boat captain and carpenter on the Island. 

Select board member Christina Colarusso said all three candidates were strong. 

“When I think of the word shipmate, they all fit the bill of someone you’d call in a time of emergency,” she said. 

If Mr. Kovack accepts the job, he expects he would need to give the Edgartown police department two weeks’ notice before starting, potentially creating a gap in coverage on the harbor during the July 4 holiday week, following Mr. Crocker’s retirement. 

The screening panel for the board was unanimously in favor of Mr. Kovack, and the select board voted 3-0 to offer him the job. 

“I personally feel that Gary gives us room to grow,” said select board member Roy Cutrer.