Hiring process, candidates questioned by some in Waynesboro

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, April 16, 2013

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW) -- Six candidates are being recommended for the Waynesboro police chief position, but some say something's missing.

No one on the list grew up in Waynesboro or served in its police force, which is raising concerns on City Council.

Councilwoman Brenda Lewis says the interview for a police chief candidate should be been open to all council members, and even though she wasn't forced to leave an interview Monday evening, she says some at the meeting didn't want her there.

"As it proceeded on, it got better, but I wasn't welcomed at all," Lewis said.

"The initial setting was supposed to be just the mayor, the city administrator and myself," said Herman Brown, a council member and the chair of the Public Safety Committee.

Brown says the first batch of interviews should be done by that group because it's tough to schedule six to eight people to meet -- but that's not the only reason.

"Any time you have more than three council members in a setting, then you have notify the public and the media," Brown said.

Lewis thinks all members should be invited to the interviews. She's also not happy about the short list the Georgia Chiefs Associations gave the city.

She says it's missing something.

"It's a shame we didn't interview our applicants first from the Waynesboro Police Department. They deserve first come," Lewis said.

And while Brown does agree it would have been nice to have at least on candidate on the short list from Waynesboro, he says sometimes change can be refreshing.

"Sometimes it's better to have change -- and change can be better for the community. Whoever we get, whether it's from within the department or not, it's going to be a change for everyone," Brown said.

So, while Waynesboro waits for change, one thing is for certain: The streets are without a top cop.

The police chief position opened up earlier this year when Alfonzo Williams left for a new job in the Richmond County School System.

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