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Ellington Named Acting Police Chief

FARMVILLE — Police Captain and Deputy Chief Andy Q. Ellington was unanimously appointed acting chief of police Wednesday night by Town Council.

Police Chief Doug Mooney, who will retire on January 5, had named Ellington as his second in command in September, elevating the then-lieutenant Ellington following the retirement of Wade Stimpson.

The appointment of Ellington as acting chief of police will be effective as of Friday, December 12 (today), and was recommended by town council’s personnel committee chairman, Vice-Mayor Armstead D. Reid, as reflecting the unanimous view of the committee.

“When I first came through the doors of the police department nearly five years ago,” Chief Mooney told town council three months ago, “I only knew one person that I had met professionally and that was Andy. He’s been with the department since 1988. He has done a very good job for the town. He has been a valuable ally for me and he knows the town, he knows how the police department operates and he has soaked up knowledge like a sponge.

“So he was a natural choice for the captain’s position, or deputy chief’s position, with the department,” the police chief said.

During Wednesday night’s regular December town council meeting, Ellington was considered the natural choice for acting chief.

Town council has received 50 applications for the vacancy and expects to hire Mooney’s successor in the spring.

Town Council’s personnel committee has been working through the applications to narrow the field down to a handful of candidates who will be interviewed.

During last week’s December work session, when council member Tommy Pairet suggested narrowing the field down to six, fellow council member Greg Cole offered, “I wouldn’t set it to a number right now. I’d say bring us the most qualified. It might be three. It might be eight.”

And that is how town council’s personnel committee proceeded. Reid told council Wednesday night that the 50 applicants for the job had been narrowed down to 10 who will be interviewed, beginning on January 7.

Following the vote, Mayor David E. Whitus praised Reid and his committee for doing “a phenomenal job” on both the Town Attorney applications and appointment (see page one story) and with the applications for chief of police.

“Mr. Reid ran a very professional, very tight ship. He kept them focused,” Mayor Whitus said. “Job well done.”

Captain Ellington becomes interim chief effective today, despite Chief Mooney’s January 5 retirement date, because the chief will be using personal leave time for much of the next two weeks.