NEW MILFORD — Police Chief Shawn Boyne last week learned he will be out of a job after city officials told him they will not be renewing his contract when it expires this fall.

Boyne, who was sworn in as the city’s top cop eight years ago, was set to have his contract expire in October. Mayor Peter Bass last Friday confirmed the contract will not be renewed, and declined to elaborate.

“Right now, I’m not at liberty to discuss his performance on the job,” Bass said.

“His contract expires in October, and I wanted to give him adequate time, so I informed him this week that we would not be renewing his contract.”

Boyne, 53, could not be reached for comment Friday.

The mayor said he planned to announce the news to the department on Monday, but due to an “error in communication,” the police chief’s job was briefly posted to the department’s website on Thursday, causing confusion among area law enforcement officials. The posting has since been taken down.

“It was a miscommunication that I take full responsibility for,” Bass said Friday.

Members of the Town Council were surprised by the news.

Mike Nahom, a relative newcomer to the council, said Bass called him on Thursday to inform him about the decision, but offered no details. He said the council has not discussed the chief’s contract and his job performance.

“I haven’t had a lot of dealings with the chief, but he is a very nice man,” Nahom said. “I’ll need to do some more research on this. I didn’t see it coming.”

Nahom speculated budget cuts may have played a role in the decision, noting the assistant chief of police job had been eliminated to make room for more officers.

Several New Milford police officers have recently taken jobs with the Danbury Police Department. The New Milford department, however, has hired officers from other cities.

Boyne was appointed the police chief in 2010 after serving as commander of State Police Troop L in Litchfield.

He was injured in 2011 when he was hit by an impaired driver while driving along Route 202.

Boyne’s vehicle tipped onto the driver’s side, spun around and off the westbound shoulder, coming to rest completely off the road against a ledge wall, according to police. He was treated at a local hospital and released.

Then-Mayor Pat Murphy renewed Boyne’s four-year contract in 2014.

“He’s done a great job for the community, and the department is uplifted,” Murphy said at the time. “I like his common-sense approach and community involvement.”

dperrefort@newstimes.com