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Police chief search winding down
Thursday, February 13, 2014
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The search for a new Martinsville police chief is progressing, and an offer could be made by the end of this month.
City Manager Leon Towarnicki said Tuesday that the number of applicants has been pared down to eight from 20.
“The plans now are to interview the first four” hopefuls today, he said. The remaining four had appointments for interviews on Thursday. However, those four interviews were rescheduled for next week due to the inclement weather predicted for Martinsville, Towarnicki said.
An internal panel will interview the group of eight, and that number will be whittled down to between three and five, Towarnicki said.
Those candidates will be interviewed by a panel from the Virginia Police Chiefs Association, he said. That panel then will make recommendations to city officials.
Towarnicki said he does not anticipate conducting more than eight interviews, but he also would not rule it out.
“We have gone through quite a bit of the applicants and screened the list down” to those best suited for the job, he said. “But strange things can happen.”
However, “I would imagine, looking at the individuals” to be interviewed, that a candidate will emerge, Towarnicki said.
If the interviews are completed by the end of next week, Towarnicki said, “it is possible we could be in a position to make an offer to a candidate by sometime in the last week of February, provided we have a clear top choice that emerges.”
After a candidate is selected, “the next steps are checking references, doing background checks” and making an offer, Towarnicki said. That process “usually moves pretty quick.”
Capt. Eddie Cassady has been serving as interim police chief since the July retirement of former chief Mike Rogers. Cassady has said he applied for the permanent position.