Mayor to decide new police chief today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Three finalists for Selma&8217;s chief of police job met with select members of the community Tuesday at the Larry Striplin Performing Arts Center.

Lt. Curtis Brame of North Chicago, Ill., Capt. William T. Riley III of Newport News, Va., and Capt. Terry B. Essex of Montgomery will remain in Selma for the day.

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Mayor James Perkins Jr. said he would know who his choice is by the end of the day.

Reporters weren&8217;t allowed to talk to the candidates or attend any of the events. Perkins has kept the candidates&8217; names a secret, even going so far as to have members of a special committee sign secrecy agreements.

Yet, after the 27 members of the mayor&8217;s advisory committee and the three finalists met and mingled Tuesday afternoon, there was not a chance of keeping the identities secret.

But still, the public knows little about the three men.

Brame has the lowest ranking of the three, which doesn&8217;t keep him listed on the North Chicago police Web site.

Riley heads the criminal investigative division for the city of Newport News Police Department in Virginia. Three lieutenants report to Riley.

Essex is the assistant commander of the Community Oriented Policing Division of the Montgomery Police Department. Essex received a promotion from lieutenant to captain in July 2003.

The mayor will meet with each man one-on-one this morning. By 1 p.m., the process will be over, said Val Jones, the city&8217;s human resources director.

The new chief&8217;s salary could be as much as $80,000 a year.

The new person will replace acting chief Jimmy Martin, who resigned in June 2007, but agreed to stay on until a replacement is named. Martin is expected to return to his post within the department after stepping down from the chief&8217;s job.

Just last week, the Selma City Council approved hiring a liaison, Glenda Deese, to help with the transition between the new chief and Martin.