Seven finalists in running for Dover police chief job

DOVER — If the plan holds, Dover Mayor Robin R. Christiansen will present a police chief candidate to city council on April 27.

During a 75-minute closed session Thursday the city’s Police Chief Selection Committee whittled the number of candidates to seven while eliminating 27 applicants.

Interviews are scheduled to begin next Thursday, April 13, and continue on April 19 and 20. The committee will meet with candidates in private session at City Hall, or over the phone if needed.

The mayor would not disclose the final list of potential police chiefs, or how many jurisdictions they came from. He did say he was pleased with the first ever nationwide search that Dover conducted, which is standard policy of many other police departments. Internal Dover candidates made the final cut as well, he said.

“Despite other distractions, I’m pleased that we were able to carry out what city council had unanimously mandated, which is to conduct a nationwide search,” Mr. Christiansen said.

The mayor said the nationwide search attracted candidates from “east, west, north, and south” and “we had across the board of excellent candidates that applied.

“I was impressed that we did attract interest nationwide. We had a good cross-section of people interested.”

The City of Dover has been without a permanent police chief since Paul Bernat announced his retirement in December. Deputy Chief Maj. Marvin Mailey has overseen operations as senior officer since January.

The mayor aims to introduce a candidate to the current city council before new members are seated following the election on April 18.

“It wouldn’t be fair to any new members to have them be part of making the choice at the end of the process,” Mr. Christiansen said.

“If all goes well, I hope the introduction will be made at a special meeting prior to the seating of the new council.”

Ultimately, the mayor will have the final say on who to present to council after weighing input from other committee members — Council President Tim Slavin, Councilman James Hutchison, Human Resources Director Kim Hawkins and Controller/Treasurer Donna Mitchell.

Former Councilman James Hosfelt left the committee after his election to Levy Court, and City Manager Scott Koenig departed after retiring in March.

According to the mayor, 34 qualified applications were received, and one arrived past the filing deadline and was automatically eliminated.

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