City police take test to be chief

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Who will be the next police chief for the City of Ironton? That depends on the results of a test and interview session Tuesday evening at the Ironton City Center.

Three police department captains, Chris Bowman, Jim Carey and Dan Johnson, sat for a written test and then met with the three members of the Ironton Civil Service Commission for a personal interview.

Civil service commission chairman Dick Rice said the interviews consisted of general questions about their abilities and their plans for the department.

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“If they want to, they can tell us why they want to be chief. This is their chance to do it,” Rice said. “It’s just like going out for a job.”

The next chief will be the captain with the highest combined score from the interview and the test that consists of 30 percent administrative, 30 percent budgetary, and 30 percent departmental questions.

When the tests were completed, each test was sealed in an envelope and then will be sent off to the company that manufactured the test for grading. Rice declined to name the company.

The results of the examination should be known within 10 days. Mayor John Elam said he would like to have the new chief sworn in before Christmas.

“We will have a swearing-in ceremony for the new captain (Joe Ross) and sergeant (Beth Rist) Dec. 23 and I would like to swear in all three at the same time,” he said.

While all four captains, Bowman, Carey, Johnson and Jerry Leach were all eligible to take the test and become the next chief, Leach, who has been ill, did not take the test.

He had previously indicated he was not interested in taking the test because of a proposed charter change that would have altered the way the city selects its police chiefs, but reportedly had reconsidered that decision later on.

First Leach and now Bowman have filled in as acting chief since former chief Bill Garland retired in July.

The testing time falls considerably outside of the time frame for the procedure: State law requires that the test be conducted within 60 days of a chief’s resignation.

Former chief Bill Garland retired July 4 — more than five months ago.

Rice had said previously that the biggest hold ups to scheduling the test had been lack of money to pay for it and finding a company that could create test that had to be custom made, since many of the questions deal with city charter issues.