Wasilla hires interim police chief, Dickerson

Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WASILLA - The city of Wasilla reached outside the department to find an interim police chief, hiring one from a company that provides temporary employees on a contract basis.

Mayor Verne Rupright said Larry Dickerson will start Nov. 4.

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reports that Dickerson was hired through Prothman Co., a Seattle-based firm that helps local governments in the Pacific Northwest find qualified permanent and interim employees.

Wasilla will pay the company for Dickerson's services. The company will take care of benefits.

Sgt. Craig Robinson was elevated to acting chief after the April firing of Angella Long. The department's first female chief was one of the first top-level administrators Rupright let go after taking office. Long said at the time she was fired for disagreeing with Rupright over his plans to overhaul the department.

Rupright said Robinson did a good job, but there was a conflict of interest because Robinson's wife also works for the department. "Even though I can waive it for a certain amount of time, I shouldn't allow it to go on indefinitely," Rupright said.

Dickerson retired as chief of the Lacey Police Department in Washington state in March 2005, and has since been traveling the interim police chief circuit. An Internet search shows him holding the job in several Washington cities.

"We're his fifth or sixth department he's coming into as an interim," the mayor said.

Dickerson's duties will include a general audit of the department and the search for his replacement. Rupright said Dickerson will also offer a "fresh perspective" from outside the department.

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