Process to find new chief begins

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City employees have first chance to apply to head police department

By Jesef Williams

The city of Lancaster has begun the process to find Hugh White’s successor.
White, who has been the Lancaster Police Department chief for 11 years, announced last week that he will be stepping down soon. His retirement will become effective next month.
A day before the city announced White’s resignation, the five-day period began in which current city employees could apply for the job. City policy allows in-house applicants to have first consideration, said City Administrator Helen Sowell.
That application period ran from Dec. 8 to Tuesday.
A special committee will review those applications. That group consists of Sowell, Mayor Joe Shaw, and Lancaster City Council members Tamara Green Garris and Kenny Hood.
A meeting date for the committee has not yet been set, Sowell said.
Depending on the committee’s review, the search for a new chief could then expand beyond the city of Lancaster.
“If a suitable candidate is not found, or if the interview committee would like to consider additional applicants before making a final decision, applicants from other sources may be sought using appropriate advertising tools,” Sowell said.
White, 51, has been with the police department since 1982. He first announced his retirement in 2007, only to change his mind a month later.
However, about five city employees had reportedly applied for the chief’s position during that time span three years ago.  

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152