May 25, 2018

Three finalists vie for police chief job

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

Three finalists to become Williston’s next chief of police are due in town Friday for extensive interviews and a practical test in front of a seven-member panel of local leaders.

Todd Shepard, the current police chief, plans to retire in September.

Town Manager Rick McGuire declined to identify the finalists, but confirmed that two are police chiefs in other states and one is currently employed by a municipal police department in Vermont, though not as chief.

The town received roughly 80 applicants for the position since posting it in the spring, McGuire said.

Friday’s practical test will consist of reading a report prepared by an outside consultant based on actual events, then preparing a written recommendation for the town manager. The candidates will also present their recommendations to the seven-member hiring panel, which includes members of the Williston Selectboard, the Williston Community Justice Center, town department heads and police officers.

The exercise will test the candidates’ analytical and writing skills, as well as their ability to work under a deadline, McGuire said.

Later in the day, planning Director Ken Belliveau plans to take each candidate on a tour of the community, and Shepard plans an informal dialogue with each.

Each candidate will then have a formal interview with McGuire and Finance Director Jennifer Kennelly. The entire process will take about four hours per candidate.

McGuire enlisted a panel which included Colchester Police Chief Jennifer Morrison, Williston School District Principal Greg Marino and selectboard member Ted Kenney to whittle the original candidate pool down to seven people, whom they called in for interviews.

The panel forwarded the three finalists after the interviews.

McGuire expects to make a hiring decision next week. He plans to meet with Shepard, Kennelly and Belliveau — as well as members of the seven-member hiring panel — before offering the job.

Speak Your Mind