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


Crays offered police chief job


The Haines Borough Assembly Tuesday accepted interim manager Julie Cozzi’s recommendation to hire police chief candidate Richard Crays.

The assembly also authorized Cozzi to begin contract negotiations with Crays and capped the potential salary at $73,000.

Crays accepted the job pending negotiations of hiring terms, Cozzi said.

In a CVN interview Wednesday, Crays said he needs to give at least 20 days’ notice at his present job but otherwise can’t wait to get to Haines.

“There is no way for me to describe how happy I am and how excited my wife is,” Crays said.

Crays, of Glenrock, Wyo ., is a senior firearms instructor at Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy who worked two years as chief of investigations at the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles. 

He was chief of a municipal police force in Wray, Colo ., 11 years ago.

Crays said hopes to start in the first or second week of March.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Cozzi said extensive background checks on Crays yielded no red flags. She read praise from those who had worked closely with Crays, who said he was “calm and kind, but firm,” “a good team player,” and “never been seen to exhibit a bad temper or any kind of prejudice.”

One person said Crays “can talk to anyone from a millionaire to a hobo,” Cozzi said.

Assembly member George Campbell said he supported Cozzi’s choice 100 percent. “I think we need to move forward,” he said.

Crays beat out Bill Musser, the only other police chief finalist. Musser worked in law enforcement in Idaho for more than 20 years.

In an interview Wednesday, assembly member Dave Berry said he would have supported either candidate for the job. “To be honest, I’d have gone either/or. I would have been happy with whichever one (Cozzi) recommended,” Berry said.

Assembly member Joanne Waterman also commended interim chief Simon Ford for having the strength to pull his application out of the ring and admit he might not be ready for the position.