City to set in motion new process to select a permanent chief

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen on Tuesday named Maj. Marvin Mailey to the top spot in the Dover Police Department on an interim basis.

“This morning, I will issue the order that the day-to-day operations of the Dover Police Department will be under the command of senior staff officer Deputy Chief Marvin Mailey,” Christiansen said, reading from a prepared statement, “this will be handled in the same manner as it is when the current chief is on vacation or leave of any kind. The senior officer on staff takes the helm.”

Christiansen said Mailey will retain his formal title as deputy chief while performing the duties of the chief of police. 

The appointment was not unexpected, as Mailey has served as deputy chief of the department since April 2014. He will replace current Chief Paul M. Bernat; the two will have a one week overlap before Bernat leaves on Jan. 17. Bernat will be using up accrued vacation time before formally retiring on Feb. 13.

In his remarks, Christiansen said that despite pressure from certain city and state legislators as well as community members to appoint Mailey outright as chief of police, he will not ignore city council-approved rules that require any applicants for the job be screened by a selection board. Christiansen then will nominate the board’s choice for the permanent job as police chief; his selectee must be approved by city council.

Christiansen has said he wants to have a permanent police chief in place by the end of April. He noted that Mailey has not yet applied for the job as the position has yet to be formally advertised.

Christiansen has said that for the first time, the city will be advertising the chief’s job outside the department.