01/18/11 — Fremont plans to discuss police chief opening tonight

View Archive

Fremont plans to discuss police chief opening tonight

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 18, 2011 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- The town board is expected to meet tonight in closed session to discuss how to proceed in the search for a new police chief.

A committee made up of Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie, Mayor Devone Jones and commissioners W.T. Smith and Leroy Ruffin has been interviewing candidates for the job.

No board action is expected tonight, McDuffie said.

"We (the committee) have narrowed it down to about five candidates," McDuffie said. "It has only been a committee of the board and the full board has not been interviewing."

The purpose of the closed session is to see what direction the full board wants to go in, he said. The meeting gets under way at 7:30 p.m. at town hall.

The chief's office has been vacant since Nov. 28 when former chief R.K. Rawlings resigned to go to work for a private contractor in Afghanistan, where he will train Afghan police officers.

Sgt. Teresa Quinn, who has been with the department since August 2008, is serving as interim chief. She has 17 years of experience in law enforcement.

The department has four full-time and four part-time officers and an operating budget of $245,000.

The opening attracted 17 applicants. The initial interviews provided committee members an opportunity to become better acquainted with the applicants, McDuffie had said.

McDuffie has declined comment on whether or not Ms. Quinn was among those being considered.

McDuffie said he is unsure how soon the full board will schedule interviews or be ready to make the appointment.

It had been hoped that a new chief could be hired by the end of the month

The timetable also will include a pre-employment polygraph test, something the town requires for all of its law enforcement officers.

According to the town's advertisement for applications, candidates for the job must have at least five years of "strong technical and leadership" experience in law enforcement in a "multi-cultural community." They also must be a North Carolina certified law enforcement officer. The starting salary will be "about" $45,390, according to the ad.

Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, public or business administration or a related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience.