At a special called meeting Monday night at Ringgold City Hall, the city narrowed its search for a new police chief from three candidates to one as it appointed Lt. Dan Bilbrey of the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department to the position.
“We’re really pleased and confident in the decision,” said vice mayor Terry Crawford. “We think Dan (Bilbrey) will bring a lot to the position.”
The city began its search for a new leader of the Ringgold Police Department in June, when long-time chief Charles Land retired after 35 years in the position.
Fellow candidate, Sgt. Wilborn Dycus, has been serving as interim chief since June 17 and will now serve as assistant police chief.
“Interim chief Wilborn Dycus has done a tremendous job and he will continue serving the city as our department’s second in command,” said city manager Dan Wright.
As the special meeting was called to order at 5:45 p.m. Monday, Crawford opened the floor for citizen’s com-ments; however no one chose to voice their opinion, or speak on behalf of any of the there remaining candidates.
Wright presented the council with his endorsement of Bilbrey as the final candidate, and also acknowledged that the city’s interview panel consisting of city and probate judge Gene Lowery, city code enforcement officer Jason Hall, and court clerk Tracy Bass concurred with the recommendation.
City council member Randall Franks addressed the room before the motion to carry out the recommendation was approved, specifying the duties of the council.
Franks clarified that the council does not have the authority or right to appoint any of the three candidates to the position, but rather it is the duty of the city manager, and that the council only has the power to approve that decision, not change it.
“By law, the decision is not up to myself or any other council member.” Franks said. “The decision falls to a per-son we trust and I have confidence in his decision.”
Bilbrey has been with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department since 1996 and oversees the detective division. He served as a deputy sheriff, a general case detective, and a narcotics detective in his time with the sheriff’s office. He also worked for the Waterford Police Department in Waterford, Calif., from 1988-96.
“I’m honored to be able to represent the city of Ringgold, and am excited about the opportunity,” Bilbrey said.
In the city’s news release, interim chief Wilborn Dycus said, “I had hopes the decision would be different. How-ever, my duty is to serve the citizens of the city of Ringgold. My duty has always been placed before my own wishes. That certainly will be the case today. Serving as the interim chief has been an honor to me. I wish to continue to serve the citizens with continued pride, honor, and integrity. I will support the newly appointed chief of police and hope that I may assist him in an easy transition.”
After the decision was announced, Dycus and Bilbrey shook hands and congratulated one another.
Source: Adam Cook, Catwalkchatt.com
Category: The New Chief