Indian Shores seeks police chief

Police Chief E.D. Williams presents Cpl. Tom Kennedy with his badge at the Feb. 12 council meeting. Kennedy was promoted to sergeant.

INDIAN SHORES — Town officials have appointed a committee to review police chiefs candidates’ résumés and to interview the finalist.

Interim Chief of Police E.D. Williams presented the updated police chief selection process at the Town Council’s Feb. 12 meeting.

Employment notifications were sent out electronically on Jan. 16 to be posted on the town’s website, Florida League of Cities’ website, and Florida Police Chief’s Association website. The application closing date was Feb. 1.

The committee consists of Bonnie Dhonau, town administrator; E.D. Williams, interim chief of police; Susan Scrogham, director of finance and personnel; David Romine, retired chief; and Neil Rode, Indian Shores property owner and resident.

The town received a total of 31 applications for the chief of police position. Twelve of the applicants were submitted from out-of-state and, therefore, did not meet the requirement for Florida certification. Of the remaining 19 in-state eligible applicants, six were selected to be interviewed.

Williams advised the council that five candidates were scheduled for interviews. The top candidate will be recommended to the Administrative and Finance Committee for the committee’s meeting scheduled March 5.

“A résumé from that candidate will be furnished to all committee and council members seven days prior to that meeting for review in preparation,” said Williams.

Once the committee has given its approval, a background check, physical, and psychological exam will be scheduled. The addition of a psychological exam is a new component to the process that had previously been used in the selection of Indian Shores’ police chiefs for more than 25 years.

“Upon successful completion of those items (background, physical and psychological exams), the candidate will be recommended to council for approval,” said Williams.

In the event that the chosen candidate “fails to successfully transition through that process,” said Williams, “the screening committee will present the second, third, etc. ranked candidates to the committee and repeat that process.”

Williams reminded the council that he intends to retire on March 24.

Corporal promoted

Cpl. Tim Kennedy’s promotion to sergeant was recognized during the meeting. Interim Chief Williams presented Kennedy to those in attendance.

The town also received a letter from a citizen commending Kennedy just the week before for his commitment to serving and protecting the residents of Indian Shores.

Two resolutions adopted amending the town’s 2017-2018 budget

The first resolution amended the town’s fiscal year 2017-2018 budget for a transfer of funds from the general fund to the capital improvement fund. The transfer of $45,807 is to cover the purchase of a new truck for the Public Services Department. The resolution passed unanimously.

The second resolution amended the town’s police department budget for additional funds to cover salaries and overtime. Funds in the amount of $176,360 from the unassigned fund balance will be assigned to police (personnel service) in the amount of $98,253 and to police overtime in the amount of $78,106.

Proposed police budget approved

The council unanimously approved the proposed target police budget for fiscal year 2019-2020.

Administrative costs have gone up $770 from the prior year due to insurance premium projections and offset by a deduction in labor attorney fees in a non-bargaining year. Personnel has an overall $39,794 (or 3.59 percent) increase over fiscal year 2018/2019 due to overtime “based on experience and inclusion of an off-duty detail expense account,” said Williams.

The overall increase in operating expenses is $9,870 (or 9.3 percent). Capital equipment has no increase from the prior year because police vehicles are secured through a 5-year rental program and the cost is absorbed through Penny for Pinellas funds.

The overall police budget will increase $50,434.

“We (Indian Shores) need to do some creative grant searching to make up the funds that came from defunct sources,” said Williams.

Council approves police boat to go to Tampa Machinery Auction

The Town Council unanimously declared the police boat to be surplus property in order to sell it. Then the councilors approved sending the police boat to Tampa Machinery Auction.

According to Williams, it cost $100 to remove all the decals from the police boat.

“We are selling it ‘as is,’” said Williams.