Chief candidates named

First Posted: 6:32 am - December 25th, 2015 Updated: 6:32 am - December 25th, 2015.

By Larry Stanford - lstanford@civitasmedia.com

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After a three-month search and assessments done by an outside law enforcement agency, City Manager Patrick Comiskey has whittled 28 candidates for Chief of Police down to two. He released their names and information last Thursday. They are:

Michael Richardson

Richardson is a lieutenant with the Griffin Police Department. He has served with the Griffin Police Department since 1998 and currently supervises the criminal investigation division. Originally from Michigan, Richardson transferred from the U. S. Army Reserve in Tennessee to the Griffin Reserve. He is currently a resident of Meansville, Ga.

Richardson has seven P.O.S.T. certifications in law enforcement: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Supervisory, Management, and General Instructor certifications and is a Field Training Officer. He is a certified CVSA Examiner. Richardson served six years as the commander of the Griffin Special Investigations Unit.

Richardson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University. He serves on Mt. Gap Church Administrative Council and as Director of Sunday Morning Children’s Ministries.

Richardson was selected as the Griffin Judicial Circuit 2015 Officer of the Year.

H. C. “Skip” Clark

Clark is the former Police Chief of Peachtree City, where he served as chief from 2008-2014. Previous to Peachtree City, Clark was Chief of Police in Juno Beach, Florida for eight years, Assistant Chief for seven, and a lieutenant for six. Clark has broad supervisory and command experience as well as administrative, including budget and policy development and over 3,000 hours of law enforcement training.

As Peachtree Chief, Clark established K9 and motorcycle units, as well as crisis intervention teams. Under his command, the Peachtree Police Department was recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement as a flagship agency and meritorious designation.

Clark holds a Bachelor of Professional Studies from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, and a Master’s of Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He is a member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, FBI National Academy Associates, FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, and the Peachtree Rotary Club.

Clark currently resides in Peachtree City.

Applicant Process

The City of Thomaston received 28 applications for the police chief position. The city contracted with the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP) to review all 28 applicants, create a list of eight semi-finalists and alternate semi-finalists. Eight semi-finalists participated in an assessment center testing process, conducted at the headquarters building of the GACP in Duluth, Georgia, on October 20 2015. The assessment included a standardized in-basket examination, a written multi-faceted management scenario and an oral interview.

A culturally diverse group of “subject matter experts” completed the scoring for two of the three components of the assessment process, which were the writing multi-faceted management scenario and the oral interview. Each of these subject matter experts’ skill sets in law enforcement were equal to or greater than the experience needed to appraise the candidates seeking to be the City of Thomaston’s next police chief. The assessors for two of the above-mentioned testing components consisted of a group of four individuals holding high managerial rank in police agencies in Georgia.

With respect to the development and the scoring of the third component, the in-basket examination, GACP used a subcontracted internationally known testing company, which statistically validates their testing materials.

The 28 applicants were male and consisted of 15 white, 10 African-American, one American Native/Alaskan, and two as “other” category. The eight semi-finalists consisted of four white male and four African-American male law enforcement professionals. The alternate candidates were white. Two of the original African-American candidates withdrew from the process prior to participating in the assessment center process. Twenty-four of the applicants were over the age of 40 and four were under the age of 40.

The GACP recommended seven finalists to the City of Thomaston. City Mananger Patrick Comiskey, Mayor Hayes Arnolds, and Council member Gary Atwater conducted interviews with each of the seven candidates, and Comiskey then reviewed the applications, assessments and interviews, and narrowed the finalists down to Richardson and Clark. While it is under the city manager’s duties to hire the new police chief, Comiskey has stated that he wants council input in the final decision and hopes to have the new chief approved for hire by the end of 2015.

Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.


By Larry Stanford




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