The search for a new police chief begins

The search has begun for Milford Town Police Chief Kenneth Brown’s replacement

Just weeks before Police Chief Kenneth Brown was to retire from the Milford Police Department, the city hired Gov HR USA to help them find his replacement. At a recent workshop, Jon Fehlman, vice president of Gov HR USA, provided the board with the starting parameters for how the research will be conducted. Fehlman said surveys have been sent to the council as well as others in the city to better understand what the city is looking for in a leader.

“We’re in the brochure part of information gathering. Everything I do will go through you, the decision makers, so you can give us your approval for the next steps,” Fehlman said. “And we have a We understand that things come up, but we’ll keep track of them as much as possible. Finding chief recruits can take 90-120 days. We’ve done them faster and we’ve done them slower. A lot of times it depends on what’s going on in the city and what’s going on with the applicants I think we’re going to have a strong group of applicants about five weeks after this window opens Just know I’m going to find you the best chef possible.

According to the timeline provided by Fehlman, the deadline for resuming the position will be around the first week of September with background checks and references throughout the month. The objective is to have a candidate selected by mid-September.

“My concern is and in your opinion, we don’t want to rush. But if a candidate arrives sooner than expected, that’s not a big deal either. There is nothing magical about extending it. It wasn’t necessary to do this, but we want the best,” Councilman Jason James said. “I guess everyone understood the requirements of what you were looking for when you sent out that recruiting brochure. Because I took the liberty of saying okay, well, I like what’s in there. a here, but don’t put a line on it I like the order I won’t change the order because the order matters Whatever order was submitted, those were things that were important to me because Milford is very different. I don’t want it to take forever because having a lame police chief isn’t ideal. And it’s not like any other city doesn’t have its own unique set of opportunities and We don’t want a lame duck session.

Fehlman said he understood the concern and there was hope there would be no significant downtime, but his company had found a “sweet spot” for a recruitment window. opened. The company would still be working behind the scenes to review applications and organize them, but believed it would not be possible to close the window prematurely.

“There’s a very competitive core market and a lot of agencies looking and with a place like Milford you’re in a great position because you’re going to have a lot of talented people watching that community and just listening to that presentation. They’re going to look at these things and say this would be a city where I would like to find a job, “said Fehlman, who was a police chief and taught all over the country. “Well, I mean, I have my candidates from personal portfolios, the ones that I review and of which we already have a portfolio on file. I probably have less time to look at the 7,000 people who applied for police chief positions across the country. I don’t know all 7,000, but I probably have at least 400, maybe 500. I would contact them. But one of the things that stands out is that there are people you know who want the job for the prestige. I don’t want people who want the job for the prestige, but those who are worthy of the community. So while I’m sitting here right now, I mean, I’m thinking about some of the chefs that I know. There have been chiefs in small communities and then we could have a whole team of them applying for this job because it is nationwide.

Councilor James asked if there were automatic disqualifications for any candidate.

“Any kind of criminal conviction or anything on domestic violence, they can’t carry a gun in most states if they’ve been convicted of domestic violence. So any kind of criminal activity, but again, that’s going to be the activity that they’re involved in,” Fehlman said. “I’ll give you an example. Had a person who was charged with embezzlement. He wasn’t a police chief and they had been accused of embezzlement twice in their career.And he was several years old, he was 12. There had been the conclusion of not supported and not supported is one of those difficult conclusions. Because you’re not saying it didn’t happen You don’t have the evidence to say so So what happened is again this question, is there something in your past which city or you would be embarrassed if you found out? And the answer was no nothing at all. So one one of my disqualifiers is dishonesty in the interview with me or with someone else.

Another problem the city will face with a nationwide search is that some states don’t have the same police requirements. So they wouldn’t want a chief who would need to spend 16, 18, or 24 months in a police academy to get the proper training. Someone who is not a citizen of the United States would need to take steps to become a citizen, which can take a long time, and would also need sponsorship of some type to come or stay in this country . Councilor Andy Fulton asked if physical and mental fitness would be a requirement for the leader.

“I’ll tell you that in the two comment sheets that I got from people, there were very pointed comments about fitness. And the one person is very passionate about wanting police officers who look like police officers, who look good in uniform and by that I mean it extends to more than one aspect of health and well-being,” Fehlman said. “When we talk again about health mentality of our police officers, when I do the interviews with them, I also go into their personal life to a limited extent in terms of hobbies, the type of activities, the type of participation, what are you doing in the community in your spare time, so problems like that. I ask. I guess it’s a bit of a delicate balance. I can ask some things, but I can’t dig.

Fehlman explained that applicants have told others they’ve been through the “Fehlman grinder” when interviewing for positions, which he sees as an add-on. He said he was still a cop at heart and wanted any candidate to come out of their interviews “tired, sweaty and exhausted”. Councilor James wanted to make sure that any candidate knew the chain of command, that they would report to the council.

“That’s one of the things we ask them about,” Fehlman said. “It’s all in the brochure and during the interview we ask questions that are clearly stated in the brochure. If they don’t realize the form of government they are applying for, we believe they have not done their due diligence, which means they are probably not a worthy candidate.

The leader’s announcement will be reviewed by council and city staff before being released in the coming weeks, as will the brochure given to candidates.

Brandon D. James