9/6/2013 8:13:00 AM Prescott Valley releases names, bios of 3 finalists for police chief
Ken Hedler Special to the Tribune
Two police chiefs and a deputy police chief emerged Thursday as the finalists for the town's top law enforcement job.
The town's human resources director, Karen Smith, released the names and resumes of the three remaining candidates from a field that a selection process cut from five Wednesday. The town received more than 80 applications for the position from throughout the country. They are:
Bryan Jarrell, of Milford, Mich., a 28-year veteran of the Southfield (Mich.) Police Department and deputy chief of police for the investigations division since 2007;
Kenneth Koch (pronounced "Coke"), of Taos, N.M., and Taos police chief since September 2012, who retired as deputy chief of the Flagstaff Police Department in May 2012 after serving nearly 23 years on the job; and,
Keith Robert Lane, of Haltom City, Texas, and police chief there since 2009.
The three men made the final cut after undergoing a three-step process Wednesday, Smith said. They were unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.
The process started with tours of Prescott Valley with department heads, a mock press conference with 15 town employees posing as reporters and an interview before a panel, Smith said.
"We used everyone's feedback from each of those elements" from the three-step process, Smith said. "Each gentleman has extensive experience, and are well suited for our community, and we are excited to be able to present them to the community at our open house September 17."
The three finalists are excellent candidates, said Marnie Uhl, president and chief executive officer of the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce and a panel member. She retired at the rank of deputy sheriff from a 22-year career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1998.
"They are all extremely well qualified, experienced in law enforcement and would be a good fit for our community," Uhl said.
Uhl served on the panel with Town Manager Larry Tarkowski, Mayor Harvey Skoog, Interim Police Chief James Edelstein and others.
Edelstein, who did not seek the job, has served as interim chief since March 15, the same day former Chief Bill Fessler retired after acknowledging his involvement with the Iron Brotherhood. The law enforcement motorcycle gang took part in a brawl on Whiskey Row this past December.
The town hired an outside firm, the Mercer Group of Santa Fe, N.M., to solicit applicants for police chief and pre-screen them.
A brochure for police chief gives a four-paragraph job description and sets five minimum requirements. The requirements are the equivalent to eight years of sworn supervisory/managerial-level experience with a municipal law enforcement agency; a bachelor's degree in police science, administration of justice, criminal justice or a "closely related" area; attainment of certification from Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training as a law enforcement officer; possession or the ability to obtain a valid Arizona driver's license; and graduation from the FBI academy, or "similar credential."
Whoever is hired as chief will oversee a department with a $7.9 million annual budget for the current fiscal year. The job description states the chief will report to the town manager, and lead a department with 77.6 full-full-time equivalent employees, including 64 sworn officers.
The pay scale for the chief will range from $98,668 to $138,160 a year.
Town officials have not set a date for hiring the chief. They invited the three finalists to return Sept. 17 to attend a luncheon at noon with police staff at police headquarters and an open house for the public at 5:30 p.m. in the Crystal Room in the library.