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Council votes to expand search for Smithsburg police chief

January 04, 2000|By BRUCE HAMILTON

SMITHSBURG - Although a candidate is still in the running, Smithsburg will readvertise the position of police chief and expand its search.

The Town Council voted Tuesday to advertise the job again in police and Maryland Municipal League publications. Mayor Thomas J. Bowers said he may also use area metropolitan newspapers.

Bowers told the council a third candidate's recent interview went well. But he said a full background check is warranted for reasons he could not fully discuss. The mayor said he wants a check in part because he is not familiar with the candidate.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department or Maryland State Police will conduct the check, which will take at least a month, according to Bowers.

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"I want to consider moving his name forward," Bowers said. "It's still open. I'm not shutting the door tight at this time."

Bowers said he had hoped to have the position filled by now but he doesn't want to do it recklessly. "I'd like to warn the council that I'm not going to make a hasty appointment," he said.

The council voted to readvertise the job in case the background check turns up something inappropriate or the candidate backs out.

Former Chief Vince duCellier resigned last fall to accept a United Nations training position in Kosovo. A committee of law enforcement officials and Bowers had interviewed applicants and narrowed the field to two candidates.

One backed out at the last minute and the other declined, according to Bowers.

Other applicants are qualified but not acceptable, he said. The mayor said he is as disappointed about the length of the search as anyone but it's too important to rush.

"We went through all the necessary steps, but it just didn't work out," he said.

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