9 have applied for FPD chief

Published 11:59 pm Friday, November 28, 2008

Former Covington County Sheriff Anthony Clark is one of nine applicants currently vying for the title of chief of the Florala Police Department.

Wednesday will mark the deadline to submit an application for Florala’s police chief.

On Wed., Nov. 25, with less than one week left before the Dec. 3 deadline, Mayor Robert Williamson said nine applications have been submitted.

“And the majority of those are from local applicants, which is wonderful,” Williamson said.

Other applicants include Florala residents Chris Jackson, Jimmy Lassiter and Sonny Bedsole, Lockhart resident Tim Hardage, Opp resident Daymond Jones, Nicholas Finer of Slocomb, Robert Patrick of Clayton and Dan Woodruff of Arab.

“I don’t know if nine is a good number or not,” Williamson said. “I’m comparing that number to the number of applications we’ve received for the city clerk position — which is 40, and they’re from all over the place.

“But I can tell you I’m pleased with the amount of local response we’ve received,” he said.

Williamson said once the application process is completed, the council will then narrow down all the applications to three final candidates by Dec. 10. A public meeting to introduce each of the candidates will be scheduled between Dec. 11-15, and the final decision will be announced Dec. 22.

For nearly two years, Florala has been without a permanent police chief after Bruce Maddox resigned from the position in April 2007. Capt. Mark Anderson had been serving as acting chief since then, but he resigned on Nov. 12 and has been replaced by Jackson.

Williamson had previously stated one of his first official action items would be to initiate the search for a new chief.

“The criteria for the position is basically the same as it was a year-and-a-half to two years ago,” Williamson said, concerning when the city ran the first ad seeking a new chief in 2007. “However, with one exception — the new chief must live within the police jurisdiction of Florala.”

Additionally, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, with 10 years minimum of law enforcement experience and four years minimum experience in criminal investigation and police administration or a related field. He or she must possess and maintain a valid Alabama driver’s license and meet all promotional eligibility requirements and must be Alabama Peace Officer Stands and Training (APOST) certified as a law enforcement officer and proficient in the operation of a firearm.

Applicants will also be subject to a resume/application screening, oral interview, background investigation and physical examination.

Yesterday was the close of the application period for any one seeking the city clerk position. Williamson said a new clerk should be announced by Dec. 8 or in a special called meeting.