Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Police chief job attracts 16 applicants


Haines Borough Manager Mark Earnest said he has received 16 applications for the police chief position following a second round of job advertisements and extension of the application deadline.

The first round drew only four candidates, prompting extension of the deadline to Sept. 11, yielding an additional 12.

“This is a good pool. We had good quality applicants in that first group, but I felt a little uncomfortable just having four,” Earnest said.

At this point, hiring a headhunting firm is out of the question, he said.

Earnest said he is reviewing the applications and cutting the candidates down to a shortlist of three or four. He expects to have the field narrowed down by the end of this week, and will forward the three or four applications to the public safety commission and police department staff for review.

“They’re not making a decision, they’re just providing input,” Earnest said.

At this point, review of candidates is “pretty standard” and consists of looking at the applicants’ experience, education and background, Earnest said. References and background checks will come after shortlisting, he said.

Interim police chief Simon Ford and former Haines Borough police officer Rob Miller are the only two residents to apply for the position. Former officer John Wahl, who worked as a police sergeant in Haines from 2006 to 2008, also applied.

Earnest said he hopes to hire a new police chief within the next month.

The first cutoff for applications for borough manager is Oct. 3. Clerk Julie Cozzi said the borough has received 10 applications. 

Neither the police chief nor the manager position was advertised in any print publications.