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Council discusses interview process for next police chief

Published 9:54am Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The city council held a work session Tuesday to discuss the five candidates vying for the job of Alexander City police chief.

City council president Bob Howard said the job posting closed at 5 p.m. Monday.

Howard said the council received applications from the following persons:

- Willie Robinson

Robinson is an Alexander City resident and is the current acting chief of ACPD, where he has been an employee since 1978.

- Lt. Mario Hodge

Hodge is a resident of Clay County and has been in law enforcement since 1997. He has worked with the Alexander City police since 2001. He commands ACPD’s training and communications divisions.

- Sam Royster

Royster is an Alexander City resident and is currently a housing authority investigator for the Alexander City Housing Authority. He has 25 years of law enforcement experience and served on ACPD from 1987-1994.

- Cris Cannon

Cannon is a resident of Wilsonville and began his career in law enforcement in 1978. With the exception of the years 1982-84, Cannon has served as a uniformed police officer in various locations throughout the United States. He is a current member of the Calera Police Department.

- David Gallew

Gallew is a resident of Montgomery and currently works as an intelligence analyst for the Alabama Department of Public Safety. Gallew brings with him 11 years of experience as a police officer – five as a school resource officer, four as a patrol officer and two years of supervisory experience.

The council discussed potential interview questions, which District 2 councilwoman Sherry Ellison-Simpson prepared for the council. After settling on 10 potential questions, the council discussed whether the questions would be provided prior to the meeting.

Ellison-Simpson said she thought the questions should be provided in advance.

“I think you really find out what they know (when you give them the questions),” Ellison-Simpson said. “You can watch and tell whether they reading their answers or if they just tell it. This is how (the school board) did the superintendent search, and you got to see what the candidates really knew.”

After some discussion, the council decided the questions would be provided prior to the interviews.

Howard said that they will be working to coordinate schedules with the candidates to bring them in.

Though the order of the interviews has not been set, two candidates will come before the board Monday, and the remaining three will interview on Tuesday.

Each candidate will have 45 minutes.

Monday, the interviews will be held from 6:30-7:15 p.m. and 7:30-8:15 p.m. Tuesday, interviews will be conducted from 4:30-5:15 p.m., 5:30-6:15 p.m. and 6:30-7:15 p.m.

“We are contacting these candidates and furnishing them a set of questions and we will be ready to go from there,” Howard said. “If these interviews turn out according to plan, we should be able to appoint someone at the July 2 meeting.”

The order in which candidates will be interviewed will be released as soon as they are confirmed.

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