More work needed to choose new police chief

DOVER — There’s more to discuss before choosing a new police chief for Delaware’s capital city.

After interviewing six candidates to replace now-retired Chief Marvin Mailey this week, the selection committee will resume the process at 8 a.m. Tuesday at city hall. The finalists came from an original pool of 22 applicants generated through a nationwide search.

The original hope was to present a candidate at city council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Monday. Now, it appears a special meeting will be called before Dec. 31, which had been a publicly stated backup plan all along.

“We are moving along very deliberately in order to do our due diligence and fulfill our obligation to the citizens of Dover to find the best candidate possible,” Mayor Robin R. Christiansen said, following a session that ran from 10 a.m. until just before 3 p.m. “We’re looking for the gold standard.”

Mayor Christiansen described the candidates as “some local, some not local.”
The mayor said at least two more closed door sessions may be needed for the committee to make its pick.
“It’s going to be a tough decision,” he said.

Other selection committee members include 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. City Clerk Traci McDowell has been involved in the process as well.

According to the mayor, closed door interviews with candidates (three Monday, three Friday) centered around leadership styles, vision for the future and community policing views.

The mayor said he’s driven to build a police-resident relationship based on trust and understanding while supporting of each other reach a common goal of safety.”

“Both Marvin Mailey and the chief before him Paul Bernat are champions of community policing, as am I,” Mayor Christiansen said.
“It’s not so much adopting a modern approach as it is we’re reverting to something that used to occur long ago — police and community members working together to achieve solutions to issues …”

Capt. Tim Stump has served as acting chief since May 17, following Mr. Mailey’s retirement. Upon taking the temporary position last spring, Capt. Stump said he would not seek the permanent post.

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).

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