LaFollette Council discusses process for police chief applicants

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By Natasha LaFayette

Sifting  through the multiple applications for LaFollette Police chief position the council narrowed the field on Monday night.

City Administrator David Young requested guidelines from the council regarding qualifications and number of applicants to be interviewed.

Councilman Hansford Hatmaker said all the officers with the city who applied should be considered for the position.

Young said when applicants from the far reaches of the United States are made aware of the salary range they may withdrawal themselves from the process.

In addition, Young said two employees with the city have applied for the position.

The two LaFollette employees are David Muse, a detective who has been with the LPD since 2003, and James Lynch, a Lieutenant who has been with the LPD for 21 years. Both Muse and Lynch will be included in the interviewing process.

“We’ve got two internal, that already works in the police department, you’ve got one with Jacksboro and a detective with the sheriff’s department and considered to be local one that works with the Knoxville Police Department,” said Young. “Those would be five Campbell County people that you would be interviewing.”

Young said he considered all applicants from Campbell County to be local candidates.

Councilman Bob Fannon stated each councilman should choose seven people other than those with the city and the top five would be chosen for interviews, making seven total interviews.

While the council appeared eager to start the interviewing process, it determined a salary range should be determined before any further actions were taken.

Hatmaker quickly devised a salary range by figuring the highest paid person in the department and what the outgoing chief was earning in the position. The range will be between $40,000 to $44,000.

“Depending on their qualifications, background and schooling,” said Hatmaker clarifying the purpose of the salary range.

Fannon said a flat figure should be proposed for the position.

The councilmen will each choose seven names and have them turned into the city administrator by Monday, April 6. Fannon suggested that by the May meeting the council should be prepared to make a decision on the position.