List reveals who’s assessing candidates for Asheville’s next police chief

A group of seventeen, primarily made up of law enforcement officials and city of Asheville staff, is in the process of evaluating nine finalists for the Asheville Police Department’s next chief.

When APD Chief Bill Hogan retired earlier this year amid controversies about missing evidence and a $52,000 settlement of a sexual harassment suit involving an APD officer, the city of Asheville began a process of selecting a new chief. Earlier this month, nine finalists were invited to Asheville for further assessment.

But who’s judging the candidates? A previous announcement from the city about the selection process cited a group of “key community stakeholders, police executives from across the state and city staff members.” After a request by Xpress to the city for the names of these assessors, consultant Stephen Straus released the following list:

Kelley Dickens – City of Asheville HR Director
Gene Bell – Citizen [Bell is also CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville]
Patricia Norris – Chief Winston Salem State University
Cassandra Deck-Brown – Deputy Chief – City of Raleigh
Kerr Putney – Deputy Chief – Charlotte
Eric Boyce – Chief UNCA
Cathy Ball – City of Asheville Public Works Director
Van Duncan – Buncombe County Sheriff
Roderick Simmons – City of Asheville – Parks and Recreation Director
Charlie Hume – Citizen and Chair of Police Advisory Board
Scott Burnette – City of Asheville Fire Chief
Ron Moore – Buncombe County District Attorney
Kelly Whitlock – City of Asheville Assistant City Attorney
John Brewster – Citizen [Brewster is the pastor of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church]
Dawa Hitch – City of Asheville – Public Information Officer
Terry Wilfong – Chief – Greenville (SC) Police Department
Bob Morgan – Retired former City Manager of Carrboro and Deputy Manager – Greensboro

After this group is done assessing the finalists, they’ll narrow the field further, and invite those selectees back to Asheville for an interview with department heads and City Manager Gary Jackson. The city plans to have a new chief chosen by mid- to late-January.


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