Dover police chief selection panel lists 8 candidates

DOVER — Eight candidates for police chief remained as a City of Dover selection committee emerged from a closed door executive session on Tuesday morning.

The list of potential replacements for now-retired Marvin Mailey was whittled from a pool of 22 applicants, who hailed from Delaware and out of state, Mayor Robin R. Christiansen said. The potential chiefs will undergo “extensive” interviews during the next three weeks, according to the mayor.

The plan to introduce a candidate at city council’s regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 9, remains, Mayor Christiansen said, and if needed, a special council meeting will be called before the end of 2019.

The committee is seeking a community oriented leader who can create even greater camaraderie among officers and provide opportunities to increase leadership potential for the department’s future, the mayor said.

“I believe that because of Dover’s location and size, it being home to the state capital, the reputation of its police department, the fact that it’s centrally located to the beach and major metropolitan areas, this is a plum job that has quite a few very highly qualified people interested,” he said.

“It’s our responsibility to find the strongest candidate who can best meet the needs of our city moving into the future.”

Search committee members include Mayor Christiansen, City Manager Donna S. Mitchell, Human Resources Director Kim Hawkins, Council President William F. Hare and Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee chairman Ralph L. Taylor Jr.

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting was posted with less than seven days notice due to an oversight, the city said.

The application process began on Sept. 10 and closed Oct. 14. The position was advertised locally and nationally.
The chief can be paid up to $122,980 annually based on experience and qualifications.

The police department has an authorized strength of 101 sworn officers, 33 civilian members, and a cadet program consisting of six part-time civilian members. The chief reports directly to the mayor and the department has an operating budget of $17,256,100 in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Deputy Chief Capt. Tim Stump has served as acting chief since May 17 following Mr. Mailey’s departure and indicated he will not seek the permanent position.

Current unit commanders include Capt. Chad Bernat (Operations), Capt. David Spicer (Administrative), Lt. Todd Case (Criminal Investigations), Lt. Randy Robbins (Patrol), Lt. Kevin Kober (Special Enforcement) and Lt. Christopher Hermance (Internal Affairs).

Capt. Spicer, who is white, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was unfairly passed over due to racial discrimination when Mr. Mailey, who is black, was promoted in 2017. Capt. Spicer said he applied for the current opening on Oct. 3.

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