ST. ALBANS — St. Albans Police Capt. Ron Hoague is stepping down after 10 years with the city to accept the No. 2 position with the Essex Police.

Hoague ends employment with St. Albans on Friday afternoon, and said with a laugh, he “gets Saturday and Sunday off” and begins Monday as a captain in Essex.

Essex had two captains, but one, Rick Garey was promoted to police chief in January. Detective Capt. George Murtie had retired in November and both seats have been vacant for at least six months.

Hoague, 48, of Fairfax, said the new job will be a chance to work for an old friend, Garey, and also return to his old department.

Attempts to reach Garey were unsuccessful.

St. Albans Police Chief Gary Taylor said Hoague will be missed for all the hard work he gave the department and city.

Hoague began with the St. Albans Police in 1991 and jumped to Essex Police in 1993. He moved in 2000 to Florida where he joined the Marion County Sheriff’s Department in Ocala, Fla. and to be near his sister. He spent four years as a deputy sheriff focusing on driving while under the influence cases.

He said he had a chance to return to Vermont in 2008 when there was an opening at St. Albans Police for a patrol sergeant and won the post. He was elevated to lieutenant in January 2010 and captain in February 2017.

Hoague was with the city department as it expanded a few years ago into covering St. Albans Town. The department in the past year created a Street Crimes Unit which has been targeting drug crimes with apparent success. The department has an active outreach program with regular news releases on crimes and accidents. The department also offers various chances to meet police over coffee or at gatherings in Taylor Park.

Hoague has been a major force in helping getting impaired drivers off Vermont highways. He became a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) in Florida and brought those skills back to Vermont.

He has also taught DRE classes in Vermont and other drunk driving enforcement classes.

Hoague said because Essex has been without two captains for many months, he said Garey has told him to be prepared to hit the ground running.

He said Essex has many of the same problems as St. Albans: shortage of personnel, traffic issues, and illegal drug use.

St. Albans has an authorized strength of 26 full-time officers and Essex is authorized 30 full-time officers, Hoague said.