Search committee forming to choose next Georgetown police chief

By Glenn Rolfe
Posted 11/23/21

GEORGETOWN — Reflective of the town’s diverse demographics, the search is commencing for its next police chief, a process that will carry into 2022.

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Search committee forming to choose next Georgetown police chief

Posted

GEORGETOWN — Reflective of the town’s diverse demographics, the search is commencing for its next police chief, a process that will carry into 2022.

Applications are being accepted now, and a Town Council-approved search committee will work to find a successor for R.L. Hughes, whose six-year tenure as chief ended Nov. 12.

“We have kept the applications open until the end of the year. We didn’t want to get started during the holidays,” said Georgetown Mayor Bill West. “The first of the year, we’re going to sit down, the committee is, and look at the applications and pick which ones should go forward to an interview.”

Councilwoman Sue Barlow added, “That is the way it was when we hired Chief Hughes. That was the way we did it, with the committee. That worked out very well.”

In the interim, Capt. Ralph Holm is serving in the capacity of chief.

Pending council approval, the search committee includes two members of the town’s governing body — Mayor West and Vice Mayor Penuel Barrett. Also appointed are Jim Hudson, Jim Liguori, Jose Barrera (a representative from the Hispanic community) and Jane Hovington (representing African American residents).

Mr. Hudson is a former member and president of the Indian River School District board of education, and Mr. Barrera is a well-known local contractor. A Dover attorney, Mr. Liguori serves as chair of the Delaware Criminal Justice Council. Ms. Hovington, a longtime activist, is a former chair of the Sussex County branch of NAACP.

Additionally, the town is seeking a to-be-determined member of the Georgetown Police Department to help with the search.

“Usually, we have somebody from the police department. That way, they have got a say, and they can report back,” said Mayor West. “They have sent us their (Fraternal Order of Police) president representative from New Castle County. (But) that’s not what we are asking for. We’re asking for somebody from the police department that is going to be on there to find the best candidate.”

The vacancy has spurred interest, and several applications have been received from both local and state-level officers, Mayor West said.

The interview process will be finalized later.

“I think last time, when we did this, we interviewed six or eight. That way, you get a fair shake of what you are dealing with,” he said. “I understand we’ve got some good applicants with some background. So we’ll see.”