04/02/06 — Chief search continues in Fremont

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Chief search continues in Fremont

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 2, 2006 10:05 AM

FREMONT -- The Fremont Town Board of Aldermen will resume their search Tuesday to name a new police chief.

The town board met last week for three consecutive days, for more than five and a half hours, without reaching a decision on the person who will succeed Ben Reid Jr.

"They are taking their time and being diligent," Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie said Friday of the board after the latest session.

The board discussed the matter for about an hour and a half Tuesday night in addition to other matters during a special called meeting. The meeting was continued for two hours Wednesday and Thursday.

"I keep thinking that we're getting closer," McDuffie said after the second session.

"They are looking at all options in trying to make a decision that's best for the town."

The board began the process by interviewing several candidates for a total of about four hours March 14. The board also discussed briefly the vacancy during its regular monthly meeting March 21.

All six board members and Mayor Devone Jones have attended the sessions that have been closed to the public.

The 64-year-old Reid announced Jan. 31 that he would leave the post after about two-and-a-half years on Feb. 21. But he later accelerated his departure and resigned Feb. 14.

Reid had worked for the town's police department for 41 years. For about 30 years, he was a part-time officer, often working at night after his day job at O'Berry Center.

When Reid retired from O'Berry Center, he was hired as a full-time officer. He was promoted to sergeant and served six times as interim chief. His predecessor, Terry Grant, promoted Reid to captain.

Grant, a former Wayne County sheriff's major, was fired after being charged in Wilson County with driving while impaired. Grant's predecessor as chief, Floyd Hobbs, a former Goldsboro police major, resigned after being charged twice with driving while impaired. The second charge was dismissed in a plea bargain.

"Some questionable decisions were made in the past, and they don't want to do that again," McDuffie said of the board.