PARIS, Maine — The town has received 49 applications from across the country for the open police chief position.
Interim Chief Jerry Hinton said he, Town Manager Amy Bernard and two others earlier identified as law enforcement officers will review the applications this week.
“I’m very pleased,” Selectmen Chairman Robert Kirchherr said of the number of applicants who filed by the July 12 deadline.
Hinton said the applicants are all men and come from as far away as California and Florida. There is one candidate from the five officers serving with the department.
On Friday, Hinton said a sixth officer, Alan Carr, who was appointed in October, submitted his resignation to pursue other ventures.
Although Hinton said he was disappointed no women applied for the job, he said it is not unusual.
“This is the fifth department I’ve done this for,” he said. Female candidates simply aren’t applying for the job, he said.
Kirchherr said earlier this week that he is not aware of who the applicants are or where they come from and prefers it that way.
“It gives us a chance to not become biased in any way. It’s an advantage to us,” he said.
He is meeting with the three others vetting the applicants to get their top choices. From there, six to 10 candidates will be selected for interviews by a panel consisting of himself, Bernard, a selectman, two former police chiefs and a member of the community.
Hinton declined to name the panelists at this time, saying it would be unfair to the panelists to have any pressure placed on them as they try to conduct interviews. The interviews will be conducted over two days, with each interview taking about an hour and 15 minutes or more.
By about Aug. 7, Hinton said Bernard will narrow the list to one, two or three finalists. Each will have a final interview by Bernard and have their backgrounds checked.
Hinton said he will do the background checks looking at everything from a candidate’s profiles on websites such as Facebook to their resume qualifications. In many cases, he will visit the hometown of the finalist and speak to people in the community.
“It’s a very important process and it can’t be done simply by glazing over a question over the telephone. You want to make sure you get the right candidate. People can make themselves look good on paper,” he said.
By the beginning of October, Hinton said he hopes to have a permanent police chief in place.
Hinton was hired in April after Chief Michael Daily resigned.
In June, voters agreed to keep the Police Department instead of contracting services with the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office.