The new chief will succeed James Grunden, who is retiring effective June 30 after 18 years in office. (The resignation was originally effective Aug. 31, but Grunden moved up the date.). Until the vacancy is filled, Assistant Chief T.J. Harris will be in charge of the police department, Ellington said.
The city manager, who is empowered by the City Charter to name the new chief, said he will probably receive more applications since no deadline has been set for submitting them. He also said he was generally pleased at the quality of the applicants to date, which include “some not far away,” others as distant as California and Indiana, and one who has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Ellington also said three members of the Gilmer Police Department “have expressed an interest” in the chief position, but he didn’t know if they had actually applied. “I think we’ve got some people in the department that are qualified,” he added.
“We’ll look at all of them (applications), but it’s doubtful somebody from California or Indiana is going to end up in Gilmer,” the city manager said. “I think we’ll have no trouble finding somebody,” he added.
Ellington added Monday that he hoped to make a “short list” this week of prospects, and start setting up interviews next week. “I hope to interview at least four to six people,” he added.
He noted Friday the position has been advertised on the Texas Municipal League’s Internet website, and he expressed gratitude for the interest in the job from both outside and inside the local police force.
While the chief post remains vacant “in the short run,” Ellington said Friday he expected no major problems in the police department as it has an “excellent command staff.”