The Town of Payson has decided to disregard a recommendation by the Mayor's Public Affairs Task Force to hire a police chief from within the department, without doing an outside search for candidates.
On Thursday, the task force told the council that the town had a qualified person in Police Commander Don Engler to take over as the new police chief. With that in mind, there was no reason to advertise for the position.
Engler has expressed interest in taking over the chief position that will be vacated by the retiring Gordon Gartner on July 1.
The Town will begin advertising soon for the chief position online and in law enforcement trade publications. Once a pool of applicants has been selected, their backgrounds will be reviewed and they will be interviewed by a committee of staff and elected officials.
Mayor Bob Edwards said even though there is a process that needs to be followed, Engler will be one of the leading candidates.
The Town decided to disregard the task force recommendation because the police chief position is "an extremely key position in the town," Edwards said, adding the new police chief will be well-compensated.
"We assume we will have someone in place by July 1, and, if not, we will have an interim police chief (in place)," he said.
Public Safety Task Force member Ross Skinner last Thursday said selecting a qualified candidate from its own ranks makes sense.
He said providing upper mobility also makes sense, adding that doing so increases morale.
Engler has been a police officer for 23 years, 15 of those years as a supervisor, with another 11 years in a leadership role.
Skinner also mentioned that Engler was named the best Payson police officer in 2006 in the Payson Roundup poll and was runner-up in 2007 for the same award.