Finalists for Perry police chief down to 6 for interviews

bpurser@macon.comNovember 21, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- The number of candidates for Perry police chief is now down to six “at this point,” the city manager says.

City Manager Lee Gilmour said the mayor and council are calling in six of the eight candidates fielded by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. The association was hired for $9,500 to conduct the search. Two Perry police captains already on the force are included, Gilmour said.

The interviews, which are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, are being held as executive sessions under personnel matters and are closed to the public, Gilmour said.

Mayor and City Council could shorten this list, which originally included 27 people, even further, or pick its new police from among the six, Gilmour said. How to proceed will be up to council, which may name a new chief near the first of the year, Gilmour said.

The search marks the first time city leaders have had to fill the post in 16 years. The opening was created by the retirement of George Potter as the director of public safety. The mayor and City Council decided to dissolve that position and bring back the post of police chief.

Potter, who retired in June due to health problems, served six years as the public safety director and the previous 10 years as police chief.

Perry police Capt. Bill Phelps, who heads the patrol division and was designated on an interim basis to handle some administrative functions of the department, and Capt. Heath Dykes, who is in charge of the criminal investigations division, are both among the remaining candidates, Gilmour said.

The other candidates have not been named, with Gilmour citing the confidentiality of the search process. He previously said it’s no secret that Phelps and Dykes are candidates.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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