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Firm to help in Chambersburg police chief search

May 20, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Virginia-based consulting group will be brought to Chambersburg in the next month to provide tests for the remaining four candidates to be named the borough's new police chief.

On Monday, the Chambersburg Borough Council approved spending up to $15,500 for the services of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The candidates will be put through an "assessment center" of exercises to determine their knowledge and judgment connected to various situations, Council President William McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin refused to say if any of the police department's current officers are part of the final four candidates.

Michael T. DeFrank announced at the end of 2007 that he would retire after 25 years as police chief.

The council used a process comparable to the assessment centers when looking for someone to oversee the fire department, McLaughlin said.

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Borough officials said that the International Association of Chiefs of Police was not the least expensive option, but they felt the firm was the most professional.

The police department could be moving from borough hall under a four-year project to renovate their existing space for use by other municipal departments.

McLaughlin encouraged fellow council members, the mayor and borough staff to continue discussions with county officials about a joint judicial center at county property on North Main Street.

"They're looking at a fifth courtroom as well as a number of other things. Like us, they are facing similar issues" with space, Borough Manager Eric Oyer said. County leaders might have more information about their needs in a month or so, he said.

"Doing it right is more important than doing it now," McLaughlin said.

Several council members mentioned the down economy when pushing for a hold on any possible move.

"It's not a necessity," Councilman Heath Talhelm said. "It's not going to make the streets any safer or put food on any family's table."

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