Officials are looking to the past to fill an interim position while they search for the future chief of Denton police.
City Manager George Campbell announced Thursday that he is hiring former Capt. Paul Abbott to temporarily step into the post being vacated by Chief Roy Minter, whose last day will be Thursday. Minter was hired in February to be the police chief in Peoria, Ariz.
Abbott retired from the department in January 2010 after 37 years of service. His first day will be Monday, he said in an interview Thursday afternoon. He does not plan to become a candidate for the permanent position.
"We started discussions earlier this week," he said. "I said I'd be happy to help out for a while. It was a surprise. I knew we had three captains interested in the chief position, and it didn't always seem fair before when we gave someone sort of a leg up by giving them the interim job. This way, everyone starts out on a level playing field."
Abbott said he has no agenda except to keep the department running well.
Campbell said he spoke with the three captains, Roger White, Lenn Carter and Scott Fletcher. All indicated they would be interested in the chief's position, he said, so the decision was made to find someone from the outside to serve in the interim.
"We are fortunate to have somebody like Paul available," Campbell said. "His familiarity with our policies and procedures will ensure that the department continues to function at a very high level."
During Abbott's career, he supervised each of the department's three bureaus, commanding the patrol, investigations and administration divisions. He organized and supervised the department's tactical team. He oversaw the Community Oriented Policing program and taught in police academies across the United States, in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and in Mexico, according to information provided by the city manager.
He holds master peace officer and instructor licenses and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Campbell said he will start the hiring process for a search company to initiate a nationwide campaign for qualified candidates. Depending on the new chief's credentials, salary for the position will be in the $130,000 range, he said.
The search likely will cost $20,000 to $30,000, the city manager said. The search for Minter cost about the same amount, and although he stayed less than four years, the investment was well worth it, Campbell said.
"I'm not as concerned about somebody staying here for three to five years if we get the kind of chief we had with Roy Minter. He clearly enhanced the relationship between the department and the city. If we spend $20,000 to get someone of that quality for four years, that's $5,000 a year. That's a pretty good investment in my opinion."
DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .