Fairhope holds interviews for interim police chief


Four candidates appeared before the Fairhope City Council Friday morning to possibly fill the role of the city’s interim police chief.

Sergeant Shane Leiser, Lieutenant Stephanie Hollinghead, Sergeant Craig Sawyer and Officer Julie Joyner were the four candidates who applied for the job, which the council mandated had to be filled by internal applicants.

Each applicant received a 45-minute interview with the council members, and were asked a variety of questions including describing their potential goals for the department, what they thought the biggest challenge for the job would be, what their qualifications were and what they would change about the department. The four candidates were also asked questions about issues facing the city, including downtown speeding issues, the size of the police jurisdiction and how to combat drugs in the area.

Following the interviews, the council went into executive session to discuss the interviews and who they thought might be the best fit for the position.

City Council President Jack Burrell said the council’s pick would likely be walked onto the council agenda for its Aug. 27 meeting.

Burrell said the term for the interim chief would be six months, giving both the interim chief and the council time to see if the position would be a good fit.

“Whoever gets appointed as interim chief will maintain their current salary until the possible promotion to police chief,” Burrell said. “We didn’t want to give someone a pay cut after a month or two or three or six if they ended up not taking on the full position.”

Mayor Karin Wilson sat in on the interviews and Councilman Jimmy Conyers said Wilson was consulted for her opinions on who should possibly fill the position.