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Group to help in search for police chief

June 01, 1999

Hagerstown City Council members informally agreed Tuesday to hire the International Association of Police Chiefs to assist in the search for a new city police chief.

The city used the same group six years ago to help find the last police chief, Dale J. Jones.

Jones left the city department May 23 to work in Silver Spring, Md., where he heads the law enforcement branch of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is under the U.S. Commerce Department.

Council members agreed to hire the association, which will develop a profile of what the city should look for in a police chief and advertise the position in national publications.

Applications received will be reviewed by City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman and city staff. Then a short list of six candidates will be selected and they will be interviewed by association officials.

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Councilman William M. Breichner said the elected officials and Zimmerman would all probably have a say in determining who the finalist is.

Once a finalist is chosen, the association will do an extensive background check of the candidate.

The service is expected to cost $11,500 plus expenses, Zimmerman said.

The process is expected to take between four and six months, according to a letter from the association to Zimmerman.

While the search for a new chief is under way, Police Department Capt. Robert Hart has been appointed interim-chief.

Hart has said he will not apply for the permanent chief position.

Ultimately, the selection of a new police chief is up to City Council.

- Dan Kulin

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