Opelika Police Department gets no internal applicants to replace chief
Mar 17, 2013 (Opelika-Auburn News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
After receiving no internal applications for police chief, a position left vacant for more than two weeks with the retirement of longtime leader Tommy Mangham, the Opelika Police Department will get a replacement from outside its ranks.
"We did not have an internal applicant, so for sure, the new police chief will be someone from outside the Opelika Police Department," Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said in recent phone interviews.
Fuller said the application process for the chief position was initially opened to internal candidates within the OPD for a 10-day period.
"Any member of the department could have applied, but it would have been unlikely that I would have appointed someone that wasn't currently a captain to the position," said Fuller, who added that the city was not legally required to internally post the chief position opening.
During the 10 days, none of department's four captains -- Capt. Bruce DeLong, Capt. Terry McMenamin, Capt. K.C. Foxe and Capt. Ed Clark -- applied for the chief position.
Clark, DeLong and Foxe were promoted to their current ranks in December 2011, according to the city's website. McMenamin, the department's longest-tenured captain, has held the rank for approximately four to five years, Fuller said.
Fuller said since the application process for the chief position was opened to external candidates on March 4, the city has received more than 25 applications. From that list of applicants, Fuller said a short list will be made and from there the interviewing process will begin.
"Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll be able to make an announcement," Fuller said.
Fuller, who has sole authority in appointing a new chief, tapped Clark to serve as interim police chief effective March 1.
While naming a police chief in a timely manner is important to him, Fuller said he feels positively about the leadership currently in place at the department.
"We're in good shape. We have fine leadership, with those captains and the ranks under them," Fuller said. "I want to take my time and try to hire the very best person we can hire to lead the department and be the top law enforcement officer in Opelika."
Mangham, whose law enforcement career spanned 46 years, 22 of those as OPD chief, retired on Feb. 28 at the request of the mayor.
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