Barbara Lawlor – Nederland
Out of 40 Nederland Police Department Chief candidates, six men were short-listed in the search for an NPD leader. Last Thursday night, December 22, the candidates sat before an audience of residents, town employees, and members of the hiring committee to introduce themselves and answer questions about their law enforcement careers.
Nederland Town Administrator Alisha Reis asked the candidates to say a few words about themselves.
James Matheney comes from Warren, Michigan, where he has been in law enforcement for 26 years and has a master’s degree in criminal justice as well as attending the FBI National Academy. He has two sons, one of whom is also a law enforcement officer and the other a sophomore at Western Michigan University. He applied for the job because he wants to transfer to Colorado.
Kevin Darling has been an officer in Nebraska for 27 years, is married, has two children—one also an officer—and knows the Nederland area and likes the community.
Kim Wolfe is from Massachusetts, where he retired. He considers himself a country boy and loves Colorado.
Steve Adams has been a law enforcement officer for 35 years and retired in California, and then retired in Nevada. Now he wants to live and work in Nederland, where his wife grew up and attended Nederland schools.
Tom Manzione has been a member of the Nederland Police Department for three years, is married and has two sons, one a marine and the other a federal agent. He considers the Ned residents as his friends, loves how people in this community care for each other; he practices community policing.
Ralph Maher has 19 years experience and is from Fountain, Colorado, where he developed a fundamental attention to details and says his priority is the protection of citizens.
The audience asked questions about the candidates’ priorities, their attitudes about resources and partnership, their thoughts on enforcing legal medical marijuana laws, their experience with limited resources. They asked about their philosophy on neighborhood watches, volunteer policing, what they would change, and their gentle or not-so-gentle policing practices.
After the Q&A, which followed interviews with the hiring committee and with members of the police department, the hiring committee has been evaluating all the candidates, including public input from the meet and greet. The hiring committee consists of Alisha Reis, BOT member Randy Lee, Nederland Fire Protection District Chief Rick Dirr, Bucket Brigade and counselor Nancy Stubbs, Boulder County Assistant DA Ryan Brackley, and TEENS Inc. representative Andrea Bianchi.
The hiring committee will post a recommendation with the Nederland Board of Trustees and that recommendation will be addressed at the meeting on Tuesday, January 7. The committee’s decision will be released Monday or Tuesday of next week. The deadline for naming the finalist is December 25.
The out-of-town candidates paid for their own travel and the Town of Nederland put them up for the night.
Town Administrator Reis says she was pleased at the good field of candidates. “I am happy to know that such qualified people want to work here. I appreciate the hard work of the hiring committee. They spent a lot of time going through the applications and talking to the candidates.”
The committee’s priorities were: management skills, community involvement, on-the-street policing approach, and leadership. They asked that the chief have knowledge of mental illness, domestic violence and narcotics, as well as strong ties to Nederland and a track record of staff development.