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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news September 14, 2014

9/5/2013 6:01:00 AM
Panel selects 3 finalists for Prescott Valley police chief post

PRESCOTT VALLEY - From five semi-finalists for the post of Prescott Valley police chief, officials have selected three contenders, Town Manager Larry Tarkowski announced Wednesday afternoon.

He said staff will notify the two candidates who did not make the cut and invite the three others to meet-and-greet sessions Sept. 17 at the police headquarters and the Crystal Room of the public library. A date has not been set for hiring the chief.

Town officials narrowed the field to three after a three-step process Wednesday that started with department heads giving tours of Prescott Valley to the finalists. The other steps were a mock press conference with 15 town staffers posing as reporters and rating the performance of the five, and an interview by a panel.

The panel included Tarkowski, Mayor Harvey Skoog, Interim Police Chief James Edelstein, Town Clerk Diane Russell, and Marnie Uhl, president and chief executive officer of the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The town received more than 80 applicants for police chief from throughout the country, Tarkowski said. The town hired the Mercer Group of Santa Fe, N.M., to do the initial screening, and Mercer narrowed the field to 20 applicants, Tarkowski said.

The town's human resources manager, Karen Smith, discussed an executive recruitment campaign for the chief during the March 21 council meeting. She recommended hiring an outside firm to do the initial recruitment and screening at a cost of $15,000 to $25,000, and supplied a list of four firms, including Mercer.

The successful candidate will take over the helm from Edelstein, a commander who became interim chief March 15, the same day that former Chief Bill Fessler retired. Edelstein did not express a desire to become chief.

Fessler joined the department in 1990, and was promoted to interim chief in April 2011 after then-chief Jim Maxson retired three years into the job. Tarkowski named Fessler chief in August 2011.

Fessler cited as his reason for resigning the controversy over his involvement in a law enforcement motorcycle club, the Iron Brotherhood, that engaged in a brawl on Whiskey Row Dec. 22, 2012.

The town expects to release the finalists' names today.

Related Stories:
• Prescott Valley releases names, bios of 3 finalists for police chief

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013
Article comment by: LE Supporter

@Amy Lynn - there are several people at the PD who qualify and would be excellent candidates. The truth is, no one there that has worked under Larry T. for any length of time wants to be directly under his control. The Chief only gets to do what Larry allows him to do. No one there wants that job.

Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013
Article comment by: @AMY LYNN

There is no one working for the Prescott Valley Police Department that qualifies. Besides, It is time for good leadership in the Prescott Valley Police Department.

Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013
Article comment by: interesting interview panel

I certainly understand the Town Manager and the Mayor on the interview panel - but the Town Clerk and the PV Chamber? This is an extremely important and serious position to fill - why was the Prescott Police Chief not on the interview panel and/or other more important entities. LifeLine Ambulance, the Tribes police chief - the DPS should have been there. These interview panels have fallen flat with their hires in the past -

Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013
Article comment by: Amy Lynn .

Why not promote from within the dept?

Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013
Article comment by: Again... Why no information

Again...why is there no information on any of the candidates??? There has been NOTHING put out about any of the candidates or the interview process until after it's over?!? That seems that they didn't want anyone to know it was going on or have the police department or public input. This is not like hiring someone for a normal position. This person will represent the police and the town and work for the citizens of Prescott Valley. A little information on the people they are considering would be nice Town of Presoctt Valley. Or are they going to keep everyone in the dark like always so they can hiring another "yes" man? Appears to be same old stuff .... you would think for $20,000 they would at least have put out bio's on them.

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