The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 6, 2006

Features

On the other hand

McKiel shares his thoughts on Carlisle's Police Chief selection process

[Editor's note: Chief McKiel was a finalist for the position of Police Chief in Carlisle. See Selectmen pick John Sullivan as Police Chief on page 1.]

I wish to share my thoughts and experiences, both positive and negative, concerning the recent Chief of Police selection process for the Carlisle Police Department. I would like to thank those citizens who offered support by way of mail, e-mail and telephone calls, and to thank those who maintained a professional and non-political approach to the process. I would also like to commend Dave Ives of the Carlisle Mosquito for the unbiased coverage of the process. As a result of this process I am a better, stronger, Police Chief and person, and I remain proud of what I have accomplished and for what my future holds. There is nothing that I would have done differently during this process and I hold no ill will toward anyone. On Wednesday, December 21, 2005, I contacted Chief Sullivan to offer him my congratulations. We had a pleasant and productive conversation, and I know he will do a fine job for the Carlisle Police Department. He is a good and honorable man who, like me, simply applied for a job.

As I mentioned in each of my meetings with the Search Committee, my independent interviews with members of the Board of Selectmen, and during the most interesting meeting of December 13, 2005, it is easy to look for another job when you already have a great job. For me it was about getting this job in this community and not about just getting any job. I felt the department, the community and I would have worked well together and would have achieved great success. At the time of the advertisement for the position of Chief of Police for the Carlisle Police Department there were five open Chief of Police jobs. I did not apply for any position other than Carlisle. Since this process there remain three other positions; again, I have not, and will not apply for any of them.

I feel compelled, however, to respond to the personal and unfounded allegations that were leveled against me in the presence of my wife. Had I known that the Chairman would have allowed a lynch mob, circus-like atmosphere to take place at the meeting of December 13, 2005, I would have never subjected her to that. I can handle negative comments and this is not the first time that I have ever been in a tense situation, but to say I was surprised by this would be an understatement.

The first charge is that I was an "outsider." The great irony is that at one time everyone is an outsider. When I accepted my current position I was the "outsider" and I faced a similar situation as I was a finalist against a popular and longtime-serving member of the department who enjoyed great popularity. During my tenure I have developed an excellent working relationship with this person and together we have achieved great goals for our department. In my community I am now the "insider" and I have great support. It is heartening to me that as a result of my being a finalist in this process I have experienced an outpouring from my community that urged me not to leave, and who are pleased that I will remain as their Chief of Police. I am honored that, despite the potential that I may have left my position, I am in the process of completing an agreement that will keep me in my current position for another three years. I work in a good community, and I work for and with good people of which I am very proud.

The second charge that I found most troubling was that I was a "job hopper," and that I could be considered a three-year mistake. I have had two jobs in 15 1/2 years; to say that I am a "job hopper" is unfair and untrue.

The last item to respond to was the only one that was very personal and made me angry. This was the innuendo that I was abandoning my commitment to the kidnapping and murder investigation of Molly Bish. This case has devastated a family, injured a community, and has changed the way police departments respond to incidences of missing children throughout this country. Hundreds of dedicated police officers, including myself, have worked tirelessly on this case to bring it to resolution. This case has become a part of my very being as a person and will always be a part of me wherever I may be. Let me tell you, Mr. Deane, please don't challenge my professional integrity without having all the facts. If at any point you wish to discuss this case further, I am available.

I am proud of who I am as a person and for the professional accomplishments that I have attained. I am passionate about what I do, and I would have brought this to my duties as Chief of Police for the Carlisle Police Department had I been selected. I am also extremely proud to have been selected as a finalist for the position of Chief of Police for the Carlisle Police Department. I would like to again thank the Search Committee and the citizens of Carlisle for the opportunity to participate in the process; it was not all bad.

[Chief McKiel originally submitted a longer version, but agreed to shorten it to meet Mosquito space constraints.]


2006 The Carlisle Mosquito