July 17th, 2024

Police hiring for Deputy Chief position

By JAMES TUBB on July 10, 2024.

NEWS FILE PHOTO The Medicine Hat Police Service is hiring for the position of Deputy Chief, last held in 2014 by Rick Wigle.

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

The Medicine Hat Police Service is looking to make an addition to their executive staff, reviving a vacant position and also hiring a new inspector.

Police posted on Sunday for the position of deputy chief, a position that last existed in the Medicine Hat force’s executive team in 2014 before the passing of deputy chief Rick Wigle.

The new hire would be the fourth deputy chief in the service’s history. Medicine Hat Police Chief AL Murphy says when he took the position in late-2022 he committed to the Police Commission he would take his time seeing how the structure worked and how to best fill the missing role on the executive team.

Murphy says the hiring of a deputy chief would mean the service’s two inspectors, one in charge of investigations and the other focused on operations, would report to the new hire who would be tasked with more a day-to-day focus.

That would open Murphy up to a more strategic role on the future of the Service in the city and he says, give him a better focus on how to best serve the community.

“I will handle more of the strategic stuff at the chief’s level and then the deputy would see the day-to-day (matters) and report to me — that will make us more efficient,” Murphy said.

He also says it creates a better flow for growth in the service, with a position in-between the chief and inspectors that will add another opportunity for experience as succession happens over the years. Murphy says the jump from inspector to chief isn’t one he would want to make.

“When I was an inspector and if I thought I would be ready to take over the chief job, I’d be doing the city a disservice,” Murphy said. “Having the experience that a deputy brings, I think really helps the city, it sets the future of the organization in a really good position.”

He reiterated that he’s not planning his own succession anytime soon but Murphy says he wants to set the service up for a bright future while also filling an immediate need.

“My goal is that if I hire the right deputy chief, then our future chief, whenever my days are done, will be here and that should always be the goal,” Murphy said. “Then the next deputy should be able to come from one of our inspectors and so on, you try to build from within.

“But at some point, you have to see what talent is out there, which we’re doing right now. But building from within for the future of this community is certainly what I’m about, we just have to get us there.”

Murphy says they hope to have someone identified for the deputy chief job by mid to late September and in place by November as the new hire will likely be leaving a job elsewhere and have to relocate.

MHPS is using an outside recruitment firm, ProFound Talent, for the deputy chief position. Murphy says that choice was made to allow him to continue his daily work without interruption and also widen the search beyond area and personal connections.

“It helps with getting a broad reach, get the message out there so we get the best person in the chair that’s ultimately going to benefit the city,” Murphy said.

“If you do it yourself, I would just be putting it to my own network and I don’t think that’s fair to the community. It’s good that we have a really deep dive into who’s out there and who might be available or interested in this job so we have the best human being possible for the deputy chief for the service.”

Murphy says they will look internally to fill the role of inspector after former inspector Brent Secondiak retired in June.

They will look at the applicants from the eight staff sergeants in the service and he plans to have a new inspector come September.

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