Local News

Interim Durham Police Chief Still Interested In Full-Time Position

Posted Updated

DURHAM, N.C. — Despite being taken out of consideration early on in the selection process, interim Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers said he is still interested in the job on a full-time basis.

In a statement released Monday, Chalmers said he still wants to be Durham's top cop.

"Even though this selection process has taken many turns, I still have a strong desire to serve the citizens of Durham as police chief," he said. "My commitment to the citizens of Durham and the Durham Police Department remains strong, and I am very appreciative of the continued support and encouragement that I have received from throughout the community."

Chalmers was taken out of consideration for the position after disclosure issues involving a prior domestic violence incident.

City Manager Marcia Conner said she will be talking to Chalmers in the next few days.

Durham is still searching for a police chief after another nominee, William Carcara, the current police chief in Jefferson County, Ky., said he is no longer being considered for the job.

Carcara and Conner came to the decision Sunday night. They are calling it a mutual decision that it would not be in Durham's best interest, and Carcara said he wants to focus on a police chief job in Sarasota, Fla.

Conner met with city council members Monday over concerns about the selection of a police chief that has taken more than six months.

"I think it was a time to take a pause in the process to get feedback from the manager and to figure out how we got where we are," city councilman Thomas Stith said.

Several weeks ago, Gregory Watkins, a retired deputy chief from Kansas City, Mo., accepted the position but later resigned when allegations of domestic violence surfaced.

Despite the problems over the selection of a new police chief, City Council members say they stand firmly behind Conners and her job is not in jeopardy.

"I think she works hard at her job. She puts a lot of hours in and nobody second-guesses the effort Marcia Conner puts into being the city manager of the city of Durham," councilman Lewis Cheek said.

Conner said she will have an announcement on Wednesday as to what her next move is. She may name a new chief at that time or she may start the search over again.

Conner said that if city officials decide to re-start the search, they would not use an outside firm. They said a search will be done by an internal committee.