Dover Mayor Says He Can’t Appoint An Interim Police Chief, Not Giving Into Pressure

Dover – Early this morning, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, the Mayor of Dover, Robin R. Christiansen, issued an order that the day to day operations of the Dover Police Department will be under the command of senior staff Officer Deputy Chief Marvin Mailey, according to a statement released by Dover Public Affairs Coordinator, Kay Sass.

Dover Mayor
Mayor Christiansen

Due to legal issues and economic concerns, the mayor choose not to appoint or name an interim chief, according to the statement.  Sass said that the Deputy Chief will assume the responsibilities of the chief just as he would when the current chief is on vacation or leave of any kind. The senior officer on staff, takes the helm. When Deputy Chief Mailey is not available, it will continue down the chain of command to one of the captains and so on, said Sass.

The mayor’s order keeps this arrangement in place until such time as the duly appointed Committee of Council has completed their search for a new chief, according to the statement.

Outgoing Chief, Paul M. Bernat was directly appointed as Dover’s chief in April 2014, by former mayor, Carleton Carey Sr., without any input from council or staff. In response to that appointment a new ordinance was drafted by council. In June of 2015 the new ordinance, which requires that the the city council be included in the process of picking a new chief, was adopted.

This morning Mayor Christiansen showed his displeasure with the process. In his statement the mayor said:

I am very upset that there are external forces who are unduly trying to demand, intimidate, lobbying, race baiting and bullying for certain actions to occur regarding this selection of the next police chief of the Dover Police Department, Council clearly has set a course of action – one of transparency and honesty across the board to select a candidate bringing the highest qualifications to the job.”

On June 8, 2015 the following council members unanimously voted in favor of the ordinance change; Councilman David Anderson, Councilman Roy Sudler Jr., Councilman Fred Neil, Councilman Brian Lewis, Councilman Scott Cole, Councilman Jim Hosfelt, Councilman Bill Hare, Councilman Jim Hutchison and Council President Tim Slavin.

Some believe that the external forces Christiansen mentioned are some city and state legislators along with community members who want him to appoint Mailey as chief of police.

The Mayor went on to say that the ordinance verbiage was changed and approved just a little over a year and a half ago. Following with:

I cannot, in good faith go against our own ordinance that was passed by council.

Until otherwise instructed by the council I shall pursue this responsibility to the best of my ability. The taxpayers of the City of Dover deserve no less than my full commitment in this process to prevent any punitive and monetary consequences to the citizens of Dover. It is my legal obligation to follow the directives given to me, as we expect citizens to abide by the laws and rules in place in our society, I too must do the same.

I ask that everyone remember why this was put in place. Please understand that this is the process that was created a year and a half ago, this was not created due to Chief Bernat leaving. We must keep an open mind. We must and will follow the approved process, we must do our due diligence to place the highest qualified individual in place and continue forward making Dover a place we still believe in.

 

 

Image Credits: City Of Dover

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