Following ex-chief’s misconduct, Fenwick Island promises more oversight

FENWICK ISLAND — The day after its former police chief’s guilty plea to official misconduct was made public, town of Fenwick Island officials pledged to prevent future offenses through greater oversight mechanisms.

The town’s news release today followed the Delaware Department of Justice’s announcement that ex-chief William Boyden pleaded guilty to misconduct and falsifying business records for his firearms certification reports. The reports were submitted to the Delaware Council on Police Training between February 2014 and March 2020 and resulted in two Class A misdemeanor offenses, the DOJ said.

While the town declined to comment further on the specifics of the case, the report said, “To be clear, this was an individual failure and not a reflection of an organizational problem.

“The agency made the discovery, reported the issue and actively supported this review. Going forward, additional mechanisms of oversight have been adopted to prevent a future occurrence of similar behavior. A comprehensive policy review will follow in an effort to identify other areas of potential improvement.”

Fenwick Island Police Department supervisors notified town officials after questionable documentation regarding Mr. Boyden’s training record was discovered in May, according to the news release. The then-chief was immediately placed on administrative leave as an investigation began, the town said.

Mr. Boyden then “chose to depart from the FIPD,” the town said.

Lt. John Devlin now serves as Fenwick Island’s acting police chief.

The DOJ’s Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust investigated, assisted by the town of Fenwick Island.

The town described the finalized case as “another step toward accountability and transparency as it relates to this regrettable event.”

Mr. Boyden was sentenced to a year in prison, which was suspended for a concurrent year of Level II probation; a suspended fine was also issued, the DOJ said. His probation will be discharged upon the completion of 100 hours of community service.

Mr. Boyden, who the DOJ said accepted responsibility at the first available court hearing, agreed to no longer work in a law enforcement capacity.

The town’s news release described the FIPD as “a team of professional and hardworking public servants. Residents and visitors to Fenwick Island can expect our officers to continue their proud history of delivering superior service and providing a safe environment to live, work and thrive.”