HUNTERSVILLE – It didn’t take long for the town’s most recent police chief to find new employment.
Phil Potter, who retired on Aug. 30 after a nine-year stint as Huntersville’s police chief, was hired on Oct. 23 to head the police department in Alcoa, Tenn., a town of about 8,500 people.
Potter will take over in early December. Huntersville’s plan to hire his replacement continues, town manager Greg Ferguson said.
“We’re still in the information-gathering stage,” he said. “We’re looking at what the town board, (police) department staff and town staff want in a replacement.”
The town expects to solicit additional input from residents, once the official advertisement for a police chief is published. It’ll be submitted regionally, but will reach across the nation through national police organization websites.
Ferguson said a position profile will also be part of the hiring process. The profile will include the town’s 50,000-plus population, a look at what the town’s needs are for the future, and desired experience levels.
“I am fully confident that his knowledge and experience will be a perfect match for continuing the APD’s track record of achieving excellence in the future,” Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson said in a release.
A lawsuit filed in Sept. 2012 by Huntersville Officer Dawn Carabetta against the police department involved alleged sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.
Potter was mentioned in the suit as being aware of rumors Carabetta was promoted in 2010 due to her gender. She also cited officers for making menacing comments against her.
The lawsuit has not yet been settled and hasn’t been in court, Ferguson said.
As for Potter’s replacement, Ferguson said the town expects to announce a new police chief in the first quarter of 2014. Potter was hired in Huntersville after a six-month search following Wayne Sumpter’s departure.
Assistant Town Manager Gerry Vincent has served as the town’s interim Director of Public Safety since Potter left.
Commissioner Danny Phillips said the search for Huntersville’s next police chief is important.
“We’re definitely not a little town of 3,000 people anymore,” he said. “We’re only going to keep growing.”