Four in-house candidates finalists for city police chief job

Gary B. Gray • May 4, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Four in-house candidates have been announced as finalists to become Johnson City’s next police chief.

Capt. Debbie Botelho, Maj. Mark Sirois, Capt. Steve Smith and Capt. Karl Turner — each long-serving members of the Johnson City Police Department — are finalists to fill the spot held by Chief John Lowry since 2003.

Maj. Garry Younger was among the finalists, but he withdrew his application.

An assessment panel comprised of police chiefs and administrators from the East Tennessee region will interview the candidates, and the interview process and final selection should be complete by the end of this month, according to the city’s community relations department.

The advertised pay is $66,575 annually or higher, depending on experience.

Biographical information on the candidates was not immediately available Friday.

Lowry announced his retirement Jan. 17 after working at the department 34 years. His last day is May 17, and he said in January he had decided it was “time to hang up my guns and go to the house.”

The city began advertising for the position in March.

At that time, City Manager Pete Peterson said review of the applications would end by late April and that he planned to have a candidate named as the next police chief before the end of June. The latest news on this process means the city is about one month ahead of that schedule.

Johnson City’s new chief will lead a staff of 150 sworn officers and 23 civilians as well as managing the non-union police department’s $13 million budget. The department is nationally accredited and is organized into two divisions, administration and operations, which includes but is not limited to canine, drug task force, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, minimum security jail, special operations and the SWAT team.

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