There will be a change in leadership at the Kenai Police Department come the end of May, when Dan Morris resigns as chief.
Morris turned in his letter of resignation April 5 and will resign May 31. City Manager Linda Snow announced the resignation at the Kenai City Council meeting Wednesday night.
"Regretfully, I have accepted the resignation of Police Chief Dan Morris," stated Snow in a memo to council members. "His contributions, commitment, dedication and loyalty to the city of Kenai will be sorely missed."
Morris has worked for the department for 20 years, since April 5, 1982. He has been the Kenai chief since March 1, 1993.
Snow is beginning the process of hiring a new chief. She has formed an advisory committee, which will help her advertise the position and evaluate applicants.
Currently, Snow is drafting advertisements for the position, deciding the salary range and where and when to post the advertisements. Snow plans to place them by April 30 and said she hopes to have someone hired in July, although there are many factors that could alter that.
"It can be a long process or it can be a really short process. Sometimes you just never know, when hiring a professional, how it's going to work," she said.
Snow will advertise the position in-state and on the state of Alaska Web site, which is visited by many people Outside who are interested in moving to Alaska, she said.
"We don't hire police chiefs that often. Kenai, I think, is a prime location. It's a wonderful place to work, so I think we will have some state of Alaska residents who are qualified who will be interested in this job."
Snow said there are some advantages to hiring in-state, but the selected applicant will be the most qualified one, regardless of where they're from.
"We definitely want to keep up the professional standards we have now in the police department," she said. "I would expect that we would not lower our standards at all, for any reason."
Lt. Chuck Kopp will serve as acting chief beginning June 1 until a new chief is hired.
"It's great that there's an internal qualified person to be acting chief" Snow said. "I think Dan has absolute confidence in Chuck's ability to do this job and absolute confidence in his force."
Morris was unavailable for comment.
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