LISBON - Lt. Fred Carlisle will serve as acting police chief until Village Council chooses a permanent replacement for Chief John "Buck" Higgins, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Although Higgins' retirement is effective Dec. 31, he is off for the rest of the year while collecting on accumulated unused vacation time. Higgins, who has been with the department for 32 years, announced his resignation on Sept. 10, and Mayor Dan Bing said he would eventually name an interim chief.
Following Monday's council meeting, Bing was asked if he had chosen anyone yet. He decided that Carlisle would serve as acting chief since he is second in command and has been in charge in the past when Higgins was on vacation or sick leave. Carlisle most recently served as acting chief this year while Higgins was off for about two months recovering from shoulder surgery.
Council voted Monday to schedule a personnel meeting for 4 p.m. Oct. 15 to begin reviewing applications for chief. Bing said he has yet to go through and open all of the applications but will do so by the personnel committee meeting. The committee when then narrow the list of applicants to those who they intend to interview. The applicants are expected to include some members of the village police department.
In related news, Chief Higgins sent a letter recommending council hire Justin Madison as a part-time police officer to replace Jordan Reynolds, who recently resigned. Councilman Willis Coleman, who is chairman of the personnel committee, noted the hiring was never run past the committee, prompting him to ask why even have a committee if this is how they were going to handle it.
Council members Roger Gallo and Steve Defilippo agreed, saying the policy is for all new hirings to be run past the personnel committee. "We're the ones who'll get confronted" by citizens when someone is hired, Gallo said.
Officer Shar Daub, who was present, said Higgins recommended Madison because he was a known quantity, having worked for the department before as an auxiliary officer. Daub said they need to fill the position as soon as possible because they only have two part-time officers available who can work at anytime.
Council voted 4-2 to hire Madison, with Defilippo saying that in the future all new hirings should first be run through the personnel committee. Voting against hiring Madison were Gallo and Coleman.
"It's nothing against Justin," Gallo said, adding he just wants the policy to be followed.
Another purpose of the Oct. 15 personnel committee meeting is for the committee and Mayor Bing to evaluate the performance of street department foreman Jim Oliver. Oliver was hired last summer and was supposed to be evaluated the first of the year, but Bing had yet to schedule a meeting.