The final four candidates for the Dothan’s police chief position were interviewed Friday morning, bringing the search into its final phase.
This may be one of the most important decisions Dothan’s city manager says. That’s why Mike West enlisted the help of three impartial individuals during the final interview process.
Velma Tribue of Dothan’s State Farm Insurance, Tennessee Commissioner of Public Safety Fred Phillips, and Auburn City Manager David Watkins assisted with the interviews.
Among the finalist for the position is John Powell of Pensacola, Florida. Powell is the former police chief of Wilson, North Carolina. Michael Rowland of Mobile is currently the Deputy Director of the Southwest Alabama Police Academy. Robert Green of Selma is the retired police chief of Selma. And Rick Staley of Orlando, he's currently the under-sheriff of the Orange County Florida Sheriff's Department.
So why are none of the finalists from inside Dothan Police Department?
Velma Tribue says “Well we were looking for the best person. These are the finalists, these are the persons that were narrowed down and it just happens to be these were the persons from outside.”
And though John White's replacement will come from the outside, the candidates were grilled on Dothan Police Department issues.
Mike West says, “Whether they be minority members of the police force, whether it is hot pursuits, there's been talk of that the last few days, and obviously the numerous issues raised by the police investigation.”
And Fred Phillips says Dothan is not the only place with these problems.
Phillips says, “Being the commissioner of safety for the state of Tennessee, I deal with ninety five sheriffs, during every day I’m dealing with some of them and 385 police departments. What you have here is not unique to any other place in the United States.”
So the final step is over, and the next era in Dothan Police Department will begin soon. West will announce the new hire two weeks from today.
Another note on these finalists, although it was not required, all four do have master’s degrees and have graduated from the FBI Academy.