Public Input Sought On Hiring Of New Police Chief

Clayton Police Chief Wayne Bridges will be retiring in April. The Town of Clayton will hold a Public Form Tuesday from 4pm until 8pm to gather input on what qualifications citizens would like to see in their next police chief.

Hiring a police chief is one of the most important decisions any town will make.  That’s why the Town of Clayton is asking the public to give their input in the hiring on a new leader to replace Police Chief Wayne Bridges who will retire at the end of April after nearly 20 years on the Clayton Police Department.

A public forum will be held to allow residents, business owners and community organizations to drop by and share their thoughts on what Clayton needs to look for in their law enforcement leader.

The forum will be held Tuesday, February 7th from 4pm until 8pm in the Council Chambers at The Clayton Center/Town Hall located at 111 East Second Street.

Clayton is one of the fastest growing towns in North Carolina. The 2010 Census showed Clayton with 16,193 people. A 2015 estimate showed the town had 19,304 residents.  The 10 year average growth rate for the town is about 5 percent.

In the past year the town has grown by more than 50 acres in size through voluntary annexations.

Clayton’s largest manufacturing employers is pharmaceutical giant Grifols with more than 1,600 employees and a multi-million expansion currently underway.  Last year, Novo Nordisk announced a $1.85 billion expansion, the largest private investment in the history of North Carolina and the biggest pharmaceutical project in the world.

In 2009, Clayton Police became the first law enforcement agency in the county and one of only 5 departments of its size in the state to earn the highly-prized recognition for professional excellence from CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.  In a 2015 report, the police department saw a 25 percent decrease in violent crimes. Robberies were up but there were no homicides or rapes reported. Property crime was down by almost 4 percent.

To aid in the search for a new Police Chief, the Town of Clayton has contracted with Developmental Associates.  Led by Stephen K. Straus, Ph.D., Developmental Associates specializes in public sector searches and has operated predominately in North Carolina for more than 25 years. Just this past year, the firm helped the Town of Clayton in hiring new Town Manager Adam Lindsay. They’ve also conducted several police chief searches and promotional processes throughout the state, including Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Raleigh, Charlotte, and in Spartanburg, S.C.

The first phase of the recruitment process starts with gathering information from community stakeholders, the public, business owners and community leaders. It will also include Police Department employees and other town staff. Candidates are being sought and recruited throughFeb. 24. The applications will be sorted and vetted by Developmental Associates and town leaders. On March 30-31, the Town will hold an intensive two-day assessment center, where the finalists will go through a combination of interviews, written exercises and mock scenarios.

The Police Chief will be responsible for leading the department that protects a community of nearly 20,000 residents – residents who expect high levels of service and engagement. The Clayton Police Department has a $4.57 million budget, 43 sworn personnel, and three support personnel. The ideal candidate will be a strong leader who will work well with the Town manager, community members and surrounding law enforcement agencies – and who will be experienced and confident in managing all areas of a full-service police department. The department moved into an award-winning, newly-designed facility in 2011.

The Police Chief job requires a four-year degree in criminal justice, public administration, or other relevant field, and fifteen years of progressive law enforcement experience to include seven years of management/command level experience; or any equivalent combination of training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities of a law enforcement executive. Bachelor’s Degree and Advanced Law Enforcement Training preferred. Demonstrated and documented success in both reduction of crime as well as improvement/strengthened/ positive community relations/department reputation.

The hiring salary range is $90,000 to $115,000, with negotiation within the range based on credentials and experience.