Ironton police chief candidates need to sharpen pencils

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The man who will be Ironton's new top law enforcement officer better study because his future is riding on his test score.

The Ironton Civil Service Commission has set a July 1 deadline for the city's four police department captains to sign up to take the test to succeed Bill Garland as the city's police chief.

"There's not been too much talk about it yet. Some of them don't think I'm really going," Garland said. "But between now and then (July 1) it will pick up."

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The chief's test takes approximately

four-hours to complete and is the primary determinant for the position, according to city charter and state civil service regulations, said Ironton Civil Service Commission Chairman Dick Rice.

The Ironton City Charter stipulates applicants for the chief of police position must be examined by a process consisting of 30 percent administrative, 30 percent budgetary, 30 percent departmental and 10 percent personal interview.

The deadline is also applicable for those sergeants within the department who wish to take the test to become a captain and the officers eligible to advance to sergeant.

"Once we know how many are going to take the test then we will order the tests. We wait to see how many are going to take them because they're quite high. It's from a professional testing company. This is also true of the captain's test and the sergeant's test. Of course, those are more general in nature than the chief's test,"

Rice said.

The four captains, Chris Bowman, James Carey, Dan Johnson and Jerry Leach are all eligible to take the test, having been in grade for at least one year. Carey said Thursday he will likely take the test. Leach indicated recently he is still trying to make up his mind. Johnson and Bowman could not be reached for comment.

"Everyone here with one exception is eligible for a promotion of one kind or another, be it an officer moving up to sergeant or a sergeant moving up to captain," Garland said. "The one exception is the newest hire, officer (Brian) Pauley."

Pauley was hired last month to replace Shawn Rawlins, who left the police force to pursue a career in business.

The three sergeants within the department now are Anthony Forrest, Joe Ross and Mark Wilson. The eligible officers are Jim Akers, Grover Carter, Mitch Crum, Beth Rist and Pam Neal Wagner.

A test date will be set to accommodate the schedules of those who wish to take the exams.

Once the tests are completed, they will be sent back to the testing company to be graded. The results of the exam will likely be known within 10 days.

Ironton Mayor John Elam soon will select an acting chief to run the department after Garland retires on July 4 and before the new permanent chief is chosen. Garland announced his retirement earlier this month.