WELLSVILLE - Mayor Susan Haugh says the village is closer to having a new police chief, but advises that no appointment or vote will occur at the next village council meeting this coming Tuesday.
Haugh says she had attempted earlier this week to schedule a special meeting for members of council to go over application materials and discuss the merits of each candidate for the position. When that plan fell through, she tried to call a meeting for today, but in both cases, there were council members unable to attend for various reasons.
"I want all six council people there, and it's hard getting their schedules together," Haugh said on Friday. According to the mayor, summer vacations and family gatherings have complicated the matter. Since all members of council will vote on the police chief appointment, she believes all should be present for the meeting.
However, Haugh did name the the other two candidates who make up the "top three" for the chief's position, who had been alluded to during an earlier interview as well as at the previous council meeting on June 17.
At that meeting, Haugh revealed the first to be Wellsville Police Lt. Ed Wilson, who has led the department since the late Chief Joseph Scarabino went on sick leave during the fall of last year.
Amongst the other top candidates are Mike Harty, presently an officer with the village department, who served with the Atlanta Police Department before retiring as a sergeant and relocating to Wellsville with his family in 2011.
Chief candidates face list of qualifications
By RICHARD SBERNA
WELLSVILLE - Throughout the ongoing search and selection process for a new chief at the Wellsville Police Department, Mayor Susan Haugh has stressed the necessity to follow proper protocols.
That process, she says, has followed two paths: The statutes found within the Ohio Revised Code pertaining to the appointment of a police chief, and a list of qualifications and duties found within the department's policy and procedures manual.
Haugh says she used the latter as a template during the process of narrowing down 16 applicants to the three most qualified candidates. "I went down through there with each application and resume," she said.
Haugh sent a copy of that list with The Review. It includes the following mandatory qualifications that candidates must have and duties they must undertake:
* High school diploma or possess a GED
* Graduate of police academy or equivalent combination of education and experience
* Ten years of law enforcement experience, including three years in police management
* Possess and maintain a valid Ohio state driver's license with driving record free from serious or frequent violations
* Extensive knowledge of all phases of police department works, including principals and practice of modern crime prevention, criminal and traffic investigation, apprehension and rules of evidence, management, operations of telecommunications center and crime scene management
* Knowledge of management and administration practices and principles, including budgeting, planning and forecasting
* Knowledge of effective managerial principles and practices
* Thorough knowledge of village policies, geography, buildings, street systems and special area requiring pre-crime knowledge or special crime prevention techniques
* Thorough knowledge of the behavior of criminals and the causes underlying criminality
* Knowledge of the organization and function of state, county, and federal agencies concerned with enforcement regulations licensing, safety and related investigative activities
* Ability to analyze situations and to act quickly, calmly and effectively under emergency and other stressful circumstances
* Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, officials and the general public
* Ability to prepare and supervise the accurate preparation and maintenance of comprehensive reports and records
* Ability to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and evaluate the work of departmental staff
* Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
* Continue to take and complete educational classes for implantation for the continued success of the police department
At the end of the list, the document stresses that, "These duties are not inclusive of all duties and the incumbent performs other and related duties, as may be required by law or assigned from time to time."
Also among the finalists is Stephen Klopfenstein, who presently serves as a sergeant with the police department in Brunswick Hills, a township of approximately 5,500 people located 30 miles northwest of Akron.
Haugh explained that those three had been settled upon because their respective experiences and responsibilities most closely match up with the criteria found in a list of qualifications and duties taken from the village police policy and procedures manual.
Asked for more detail about the required three years of police management stated in the list of qualifications, the mayor said, "I define it as you've been a ranking officer that has been in charge of management, which means budgeting, scheduling - the things necessary to manage a police department."
Haugh says she understands that Wellsville residents are eager to have the selection finally completed, but emphasized that care has been taken to ensure the process has been followed exactly and that the village isn't left vulnerable to a lawsuit over any perceived malpractice in its methods. "This job cannot be rushed, it just can't be rushed - period," she said.
At the same time, Haugh says the process is too important to be delayed and hopes that a personnel meeting with council members can be held later this coming week, so the process can be brought to a conclusion. "Now that all t's have been crossed and all the i's have been dotted, it's time to move forward," she said.