The five-member Police Chief Selection Committee has completed interviews of the six candidates.
Dover residents will learn May 4 who has been nominated as the city’s next chief of police.
The five-member Police Chief Selection Committee wrapped up the last two of six interviews during an executive session April 20 at City Hall. All but one were conducted in person, the other via Skype.
The panel agreed by consensus to vote on a final candidate during a special council meeting in two weeks. They originally planned to make the announcement April 27, but agreed to vote on a final choice and hold a confirmation vote the same night, May 4.
Christiansen announced earlier this month the city had received 34 applications for the job, the result of a nationwide advertising campaign to alert prospective candidates. That number was pared down to seven finalists by April 6.
Two candidates were interviewed in person behind closed doors on April 13, with two additional prospects brought in April 19.
One of the seven finalists withdrew his application before his scheduled interview, Christiansen said.
The mayor did not reveal which of the six candidates came from organizations other than the Dover Police Department. This marks the first time a chief of police has been considered from outside the department.
The need for a new department head was prompted by the retirement of Chief of Police Paul M. Bernat in January. The announcement set in motion a new procedure for selecting his replacement.
Up until Bernat’s elevation to the top job in 2014, Dover’s mayor was entrusted with reviewing candidates and forwarding a selection to city council.
Controversy arose, however, when former Mayor Carleton E. Carey Sr. was accused of maneuvering the appointment of Lt. Marvin Mailey to the deputy chief’s job, promoting him over five senior officers. Those officers eventually brought formal complaints against the city, resulting in a $300,000 settlement to all five as well as Carey’s resignation.
The affair caused council to unanimously approve new regulations for selecting a city police chief. That process involved appointing a selection committee consisting of the mayor, city manager, director of human resources, president of city council and a council member, who would set the requirements for the job and then advertise for the position. Again, for the first time, those advertisements included going outside the Dover department.
Christiansen quickly found himself the target of comments by Fourth District Councilman Roy Sudler, who demanded he recuse himself from the selection committee. Sudler had wanted the mayor to forego the selection process and appoint Mailey directly, an action Christiansen refused to take as he said it was prohibited by city code.