Powder Springs police chief finalists named
by Kathryn Malone
kmalone@mdjonline.com
June 08, 2011 12:00 AM | 3881 views | 14 14 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
POWDER SPRINGS - Following a two-month long search process, the City of Powder Springs announced three finalists for police chief Monday.

The finalists are Maj. Tom Arnold, a 31-year Cobb Police Department veteran currently serving as interim police chief; Jeffery Pearce, an assistant special agent in charge at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and William Sewell, chief of police for the McMinnville Police Department in McMinnville, Tenn.

Mayor Pat Vaughn referred to all of the finalists as "excellent" and said the city plans to hold a meet-and-greet with them in the next 10 days.

City Manager Rick Eckert will make his recommendation to the city council at its June 20 meeting.

Vaughn said the council hopes to vote on that hire at the June 20 meeting as well.

"Sometimes things might get delayed because we're in the process of checking references and things like that," Vaughn said. "Hopefully we will be announcing on the 20th."

Eckert said if he doesn't make his recommendation by June 20, the council will likely hold a special called meeting to make that announcement and vote on the budget.

Eckert said the city received 31 applications for the position. A group of law enforcement officials, including Kennesaw Police Chief Bill Westenberger, Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn and Gerald Peal, a retired Cobb County police officer and polygraph professional, narrowed down the list of candidates, Eckert said.

Eckert said they are looking at a salary for the new police chief in the mid-$80,000s, but that it will depend on the candidate's experience and qualifications. The current police chief salary is $75,000.

The new chief will oversee 30 officers and four civilian employees. The department has an operating budget of roughly $3 million.

Former Powder Springs Police Chief L. Rick Richardson was fired for allegedly selling city property without authorization in February.
Comments
(14)
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gbag
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August 04, 2011
THE NEW CHIEF SEWELL IS JUST A FIGUREHEAD THE CITY MANAGER CAN CONTROL
Guess what
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June 14, 2011
I believe the two chiefs prior to Richardson were from outside as well as the last two or three city managers, which means there needs to be another change if you really want to see the city grow.
ps citizen
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June 13, 2011
It is time that the city goes with someone from the outside. The city deserves a "fresh" start with a new chief. We can only get stronger by bringing in a new face that can bring experience and education to the table. We are a growing city and its time for small town politics to step away and pick the best man for the job. We deserve the best and that means bringing in from the outside.
The best choice
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June 12, 2011
Arnold is the best choice of the three candidates left. I would normally agree with “pscitizen” but there is a lot of work in rebuilding when the command structure was gone for so long when the old chief was under investigation. It’s not like the selection process by Marietta or Kennesaw Police Departments that have strong, established command staffs in place that can continue in a chief’s absence. Arnold will bring the regiment and discipline the department needs, if the Mayor lets him run the department. Arnold knows the history of the city and the police department and will be able to start at a higher level than the others. He knows the area, the people and the officers. He has a “Zero” learning curve compared to the other two who both have limited knowledge about Powder Springs, and possibly Georgia.

Good luck Tom!!

ps person
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June 10, 2011
New...good idea....not old

old timer
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June 10, 2011
New people bring new and often great ideas.
pscitizen
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June 10, 2011
I'm sure Arnold is a good cop but I would like to see Powder Springs officers stay Powder Springs. They should bring in someone new who has no ties. After what these officers and this city has gone through, we all deserve someone outside the Cobb box.
Powder Spgs Resident
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June 09, 2011
The best choice is Tom Arnold. He has vast knowledge and experience. He is not part of the good ole boy system however he has met alot of professionals through the various positions he has served, this type of networking will be an asset to Powder Springs. It will benefit the city having someone that has a good working relationship with Cobb County. Tom is from Powder Springs, graduated from McEachern - he knows this city, the neighborhoods, schools, etc.

Just Wait
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June 09, 2011
They replaced their own acting chief with Arnold.

What are the chances he will not get the job? Arnold, who incidentally, is still a full time Cobb County employee. How does that work? Is Powder Springs reimbursing Cobb County for his time away from the job? I'm sure Arnold is a great cop, but this thing stinks.
pscitizen
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June 09, 2011
Maybe its time for powder springs to get away from the good ole boy system and hire from the outside. The police department needs someone who isn't connected. I would like to see the A.T.F. guy or the Tennessee chief in office
Cobb Taxpayer
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June 08, 2011
I'd stay away from the guy that was with the ATF....never trust a Fed.
Duhh
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June 08, 2011
I thought Tom Arnold was an actor...My bad.
arsenal45
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June 08, 2011
No-Brainer. Give it to Tom Arnold.
Mike C
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June 08, 2011
Tom is a known proven Law Enforcement Professional. He would make the city a great Chief. His career span many acpects of policing. You can miss with this guy. I'm sure the others candidates are very good, but I have worked with Tom before and he is the REAL DEAL....
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