The City of Patterson is looking for a police chief.
The most recent chief, Patrick M. LaSalle, has retired. Since his current term doesn’t expire until the end of this year, that means an interim chief must be appointed to fill the job until December 31.
Mayor Rodney Grogan said the charter states that the mayor selects a candidate, who then must be approved by the City Council. But, Grogan said, he has talked to the city attorney and is adding a few steps to that process.
"We started taking applications yesterday, and we will take them through April 10 at 4 p.m.," the mayor said.
On April 11, he will vet the applications for qualifications, and then a committee will interview the qualified candidates and recommend a candidate to the council. There’s a special council meeting set for April 16, when the council will make its decision, he said.
If the council doesn’t like the recommended candidate, Grogan said he’ll go back to the committee. There is a time element; if no appointment is made locally within 30 days the Governor will make an appointment, he said.
The interim chief will be paid $4,000 a month to lead the 24-officer department, Grogan said.
Grogan said he’s hoping this process will bring the best candidate to the job.
"I didn’t want to recommend someone and have that person not be the right fit," he said. "I wanted this to be a collective decision."