Police Chief Search Narrowed To 21 From 89

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Town Manager Fred Carpenter and the committee charged with the search for a police chief have narrowed the pool of 89 applicants to 21 semifinalists.

Commander Don Engler of the Payson Police Department is among the semifinalists.

The committee includes Mayor Bob Edwards, Vice Mayor Tim Fruth, Councilor Su Connell and citizens Kathy Baas, Andy Sarcinella and Ross Skinner.

Carpenter said the decision to do a search was based on his discussion with several council members.

"I asked what they wanted to do and was told they'd like to have a search. Even if only one wanted it, I would have started the process," he said. "We had applicants from all four corners of the continental United States, but not one woman applied."

The 21 men making it into the semifinal round of the search were sent packets on Tuesday.

"The packets include five essay questions, plus other materials needed for background searches," Carpenter said.

The applicants must return the packets by May 7. The committee members will get the material for review on May 8, then meet May 16 to further narrow the search to five or six finalists.

Carpenter said the finalists will be invited to Payson for a citizen review on May 31. They will be interviewed by the committee June 1.

Payson residents would be asked to participate in the review, which will take place in a manner similar to that used by the Payson Unified School District in its selection process for new superintendent, Casey O'Brien.

"We're going to use several rooms at one of the schools and set the citizens up in them and have the candidates do a round-robin," Carpenter said.

The citizens will give their input to the committee and Carpenter hopes a selection can be made by the afternoon of June 1.

"It is my decision as town manager, but it has to be ratified by the council," Carpenter said.

If all goes according to plan, Carpenter hopes the council will take action June 7.

"Gordy retires June 29 and we'd like to have the new chief start then," Carpenter said.

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