• 37°

City continues search for new police chief

Chief Candidates

• 48 applicants

• 21 NC applicants

• 27 out-of-state applicants

• 3 female applicants

• 2 white females, 1 black female

• 45 male applicants

• 31 white males, 10 black males, 2 Hispanic males, 2 not indicated

• 17 applicants with bachelor’s degrees

• 29 applicants with master’s degrees

• 2 applicants with Ph.D.’s

• 3 applicants indicated they had completed FBI Academy

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

Who could be the next Salisbury police chief is a question that has lingered since the surprise announcement that former Police Chief Rory Collins would retire at the end of 2015.

The city of Salisbury set to find Collins’ successor following his December retirement and the appointment of interim chief Capt. Brian Stallings.

City Manager Lane Bailey has assured city officials and Salisbury citizens he’s determined to find a chief to lead the police department by the beginning of the upcoming fiscal year.

As the planned July 1 deadline approaches, the city has received a number of applicants for the job. The first review of applications began Feb. 26 and the city will continue receiving applications until the position is filled.

Some residents have expressed interest in being a part of the search process and even asked for a public review board. Bailey has said he’d prefer not to have a citizen’s review board out of respect for the potential candidates who may not want their current employers to know they are possibly seeking other employment.

Bailey received feedback from citizens and Salisbury Police officers regarding candidates. He’s met regularly with residents either in his office or through other events where he’s received feedback from them.

The city wants a candidate who can engage with officers, someone who can take constructive criticism, lead the police department and hold people accountable, said City Communications Director Linda McElroy.

The next chief, would be someone who would continue with the current model of community policing and help to reduce crime, McElroy said.

She added the new chief must also be able to rebuild relationships within the community. During a January community meeting, residents asked if the city was looking for someone who could rebuild relationships with the community, particularly the minority community.

Bailey is also looking for someone who has experience in an urban setting and in a diverse community, McElroy said, because it mirrors the diversity in Salisbury.

Although Bailey is leading the search for a chief and the ultimate choice for one will come down to him the city will use a background check agency, US ISS Agency, to assist in checking the applicants’ records.

The company is made up of retired law enforcement who include polygraphers, deputy chiefs and detectives.

“We are excited and definitely want to get this right and look at the possibility of moving forward,” she said.

Candidates can visit www.salisburync.gov/hr to apply online.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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