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Former chief tapped as interim boss in Milton

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Stacy Vogel
December 20, 2007
— The Milton Police Department could see a return to old times if a retired police chief agrees to serve as interim chief starting next month.

The Milton Police Commission voted Tuesday morning to appoint former Chief Terry Hawkins as interim chief after the retirement of Chief Tom Gilland takes effect Jan. 7.


Tuesday’s meeting was actually the second time the commission voted to hire Hawkins as interim chief. The commission came to the same decision when it met Dec. 13, but it failed to post notice of the meeting beforehand.


The city recognized the Dec. 13 meeting as illegal and invalidated the decision made there.


Tuesday night, the Milton City Council agreed in closed session to offer Hawkins a contract that would remain in place until a permanent chief is appointed, said Mike Haas, Milton city attorney.


The contract offered Hawkins the same hourly rate he was making when he retired, $31.25. Hawkins would be considered an independent contractor and would receive no benefits, Haas said.


Hawkins or the city could terminate the contract with five days’ notice, Haas said.


Hawkins hadn’t responded to the offer Thursday morning, but he has expressed interest in the position, said Stephen Tupper, chairman of the police commission.


The commission is responsible for appointing a candidate for the next police chief. The city council then would negotiate a contract with the candidate.


When Hawkins announced his retirement three years ago, the city employed a private consulting firm to help in the search for a replacement. Tupper isn’t sure if the city will do that again, but said he would prefer the assistance.


As for the illegal meeting, it appeared to be a mistake and the city won’t take legal action, Haas said.


Tupper said posting the meeting was his responsibility, and he will be more careful in the future to make sure it happens.


The commission does not have any future meeting scheduled at this time, Tupper said.


“But if there are, I’m going to have them posted,” he said.



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