WEST FORK [KFSM] – West Fork city leaders met with a police commission Wednesday morning to start the hiring process to find a new police chief, after former chief John Collins handed in a resignation letter Friday (Aug. 8).
Mayor Charlie Rossetti said Collins’ resignation is not connected to the federal investigation into the city’s waste water treatment facility.
“I don’t think that that was ever an issue in his decision, and it certainly wasn’t an issue in my decision accepting that resignation,” Rossetti said.
The mayor said he hasn’t heard any updates from the FBI about the investigation. He said the waste water hasn’t been leaking raw sewage since April 2014. Several citizens called into the ADEQ and law enforcement agencies in the spring complaining of sewage leaking from the treatment facility in West Fork into the White River.
“We’ve had no problems, and we don’t forsee any happening,” Rossetti said.
As for the open police chief position, the city’s police commission made of five West Fork Citizens, including Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder and Fayetteville Police sergeant Craig Stout, met Wednesday to discuss parameters for the applicants. Stout said the committee discussed where and how to advertise the open position.
“We want to make sure that we have the best police department we can possibly have,” Stout said, “And that starts at the leadership we have for that police department.”
The committee talked about what qualities they plan to look for in applicants, and the mayor said he is wanting to find someone with both law enforcement and management background.
“This is a person who is not only going to be taking calls, but he also is going to be a liaison between the city council, the mayor and the community itself,” Chairman Stout said.
Former chief John Collins said he loves the area and will continue to support the city of West Fork— including running for city council in November.
“I’m still here for the community, and I believe the police commission will do a good job finding a replacement,” Collins said.
Rossetti said he does not have a deadline set to fill the position. He said he wants to take the time to find the best candidate for the job.