03/01/12 — Police chief hiring delayed

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Police chief hiring delayed

By Gary Popp
Published in News on March 1, 2012 1:46 PM

The naming of the Goldsboro Police Department's next chief has been delayed nearly six weeks, City Manager Scott Stevens said.

The city received 74 applicants for the position before the application cut-off date in the middle of January.

Stevens and the city's Human Resource Management Director Faye Reeves cut the candidate pool to 20, then created a short list of six candidates.

The interview and assessment process of the six applicants, which was slated for Wednesday, was canceled after three of the six candidates backed out of the hiring process.

Stevens said it will take three to four weeks to select another three applicants and the assessment interviews to be rescheduled.

"I want to have about six applicants to choose from," Stevens said.

He said the assessment process, which includes interviews, role-playing and presentations from those vying for the position, should take a single day to complete.

During the assessment process, a panel of about nine people will be formed to test the knowledge and scrutinize the abilities of the applicants before Stevens makes his final selection.

Those individuals will include law enforcement professionals from in and out of Wayne County, Goldsboro department heads and local business owners, Stevens said.

He said it would be ideal to have two or three outstanding applicants to select from after the day of assessment for further interviews and background checks.

Stevens said he is looking for someone with the intellect to lead a law enforcement agency and the communication skills to create a bond with community members.

Stevens is aiming to name the next police chief by the middle of April.

Goldsboro Police Maj. Jeff Stewart has served as the interim chief since Tim Bell retired March 1, 2011.

Since taking the position of city manager in August 2011, Stevens said he has had a positive relationship with Stewart.

He said working with Stewart has given him the opportunity to learn about the city's police operations.

"He is an asset to the community no matter in what capacity he is serving," Stevens said of Stewart.

Stewart and Stevens both declined to comment on his future aspirations to lead the department, which he has done for the past year.