Monday, May 1, 2017
By Jordyn Grzelewski
Township officials today will begin interviewing candidates for police chief.
Trustees Brad Calhoun, Tom Costello and Larry Moliterno will conduct hourlong interviews with each of the 12 applicants over the course of three special meetings. The meetings are scheduled for 4 p.m. today, Thursday and May 9.
The interview sessions will be in executive session, and therefore not open to the public. Calhoun said that is the normal process by which township officials conduct interviews.
“It was never discussed,” he said of making the sessions open. “Typically, whenever we interview anyone for a position, it’s in executive session.”
Ohio law allows public entities to consider personnel matters in executive session.
After the first round of interviews is complete, township officials will narrow the field of candidates to an undetermined number of people who will be asked to come back for second-round interviews.
The township received applications from five township police officers and seven external candidates.
The applicants from Boardman are John Paul Allsopp, Rick Balog, Charles Hillman Jr., Michael R. Hughes and Glen Riddle. The external candidates are William Cappabianca, James Ciotti, Rod J. Foley, Brian Goodin, David E. Hayes, Charles VanDyke and Todd Werth.
All of the internal candidates are long-serving members of the department who hold the rank of sergeant. The external candidates include a major in the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, a special agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a Youngstown police captain, Poland Township’s police chief, police chief/township administrator for Sagamore Hills, Milton Township’s police chief and a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.
Calhoun said each of the three trustees has prepared his own questions for the interviews and will try to ask each candidate the same questions. His top priority for a candidate is community engagement, he said, noting current Police Chief Jack Nichols’ strength in that area.
“I want someone who will answer phone calls from community members,” Calhoun said. “Someone who will go to forums. That’s very, very important to me. ... We may be considered one of the big players in Mahoning County, but we’re really a 5-square-mile community, and we really want to keep that hometown feel.”
Township officials hope to have a candidate selected sometime this summer, so the next chief can shadow Nichols for several months. Nichols will retire in January after 40 years with the township police department.