Town Books Police Chief Interviews

Published 2:02 pm Thursday, January 15, 2015

FARMVILLE — Ready, aim, hire.


The voluminous pool of applicants to become chief of police has been sharply narrowed to five aiming for the hiring bull’s-eye.

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Town council, it was confirmed during Wednesday night’s January monthly meeting, will interview those finalists as a committee of the whole and hopes to have a new police chief in place some time in March.

The duties of the office are currently the responsibility of Police Captain and Deputy Chief, Andy Q. Ellington, whom town council unanimously appointed acting chief last month.

Council’s personnel committee, chaired by Vice-Mayor Armstead D. Reid, began the process with a field of exactly 50 candidates who applied for the position that became vacant through the retirement of Doug Mooney.

The original field was first whittled down to nine candidates who were interviewed by the Personnel Committee, which now offers the five finalists to town council. These will be interviewed on February 4.

Mooney was chief for five years, bringing 22 years of experience with the Chesterfield Police Department. Chief among the department’s numerous accomplishments since Mooney’s arrival was its first-ever accreditation.

“I think that this is a good time to leave,” Mooney told town council during his surprise announcement in November. “I think now you can get somebody that can maintain what we’ve done and forge ahead in different target areas. I think there’s a good future for the department.”

The next chief will inherit a department that has rebounded from a 2009 town council-initiated assessment conducted by retired Chapel Hill, North Carolina police chief Gregg E. Jarvies that identified more than a dozen areas of needed improvement.

During his farewell five-year report, Mooney detailed how each area has been addressed by the department.

“I know,” he told town council while concluding that report last month, “you will pick somebody who will use their skills, talents and education to further us to the next level.”

That process is narrowing down toward the naming of the next chief of police.