BRATTLEBORO -- The first round of interviews with the Brattleboro police chief candidates were held Thursday and interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland said he hopes to name the new chief in the next few weeks.
Five candidates were interviewed Thursday by four different committees.
A committee made up of citizens and a second committee of members of the police department each developed their own questions and sat down with the candidates during a full day of interviews, which were held at Brattleboro Union High School Thursday.
The members of the Selectboard made up a third committee and the final committee, which Moreland called the Evaluation Committee, was made up of Moreland, Selectboard Chairman David Gartenstein, Windham County State's Attorney Tracy Shriver, Tristan Toleno and Hinsdale, N.H., Police Chief Todd Faulkner.
"This is a very important position and I think it says a lot about our community that 26 people took a full day out of their schedules to take part in this," Moreland. "Everybody in the community is a stakeholder in public safety."
Each committee member took notes during the interviews and Moreland collected a big stack of feedback forms at the end of the process. He said he will now make copies for the members of the Evaluation Committee, who will sit down with Moreland to come up with the top two candidates.
Under the Town Charter, Moreland has the authority to choose the next police chief and to negotiate a contract with the top candidate.
He said he was not sure if he was going to schedule another round of interviews with the top candidates or if he will emerge from the meeting with the Evaluation Committee with a candidate in mind that he wants to offer the job to.
Former Police Chief Gene Wrinn announced his retirement in June after serving the town for 28 years.
Capt. Michael Fitzgerald has been serving as interim chief. Moreland would not say if Fitzgerald was one of the candidates for the full-time position.
"I have received feedback from the Selectboard on this. I respect their stance and I look forward to going through this and reviewing this information," Moreland said. "I hope this is going to come together quickly."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. Follow him on Twitter @HowardReformer.