Search for police chief narrowed to 2

Dana Guthrie Published March 20, 2017 at 9:31 a.m.
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— The search for the new Jacksonville police chief is expected to conclude by the end of the month, said Jill Ross, director of human resources for the city of Jacksonville.

“We are down to two candidates,” Ross said.

Current Police Chief Kenny Boyd, who was appointed chief in 2014, is set to retire April 1.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Ross said. “Chief Boyd has been with us 29 years, so I’m sad about that. I’m sad that he’s leaving, but also, it’s exciting to look to the future. Like I said, it’s bittersweet.”

Ross said the department received 31 applications for the position.

“We advertised in local, state and national publications and websites,” she said. “We began our search in the beginning of February, and we are hoping to finalize by the end of March.”

Ross said the formal process is a lengthy one with several steps.

“It starts with Jill,” said April Kiser, public media relations specialist and patrol secretary for the Jacksonville Police Department. “She is the one who receives the applications and sorts through them to find out who is qualified and who is not qualified.

“We review applications, interview, conduct second and possibly third interviews, check references, backgrounds etc. It is a lengthy and thorough vetting process to become the police chief with the city of Jacksonville.”

Out of the 31 candidates, only two remain:

• Geoffrey Herweg, who serves as deputy chief of the Lovington (New Mexico) Police Department, has held his current position since 2015. Before becoming deputy chief, Herweg served as a sergeant with the department. An Army veteran, Herweg also served as a sergeant detective in the Criminal Investigations/SWAT Unit with the Taylor Police Department in Taylor, Texas.

• Kenneth Scott serves as the deputy chief of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been a part of the department since 2013. Scott also served as chief of police in Madison, South Dakota, and chief of police in the town of Capitol Heights, Maryland. He also served as a sergeant with the Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland.

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