Carolina Beach Receives 86 Applicants For Police Chief

Carolina Beach Receives 86 Applicants For Police Chief Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 22 July 2015 04:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Town of Carolina Beach terminated the employment of former Carolina Beach Police Chief Ken Hinkle on May 8th, 2015. Earlier this summer the Town began a search for a new chief.
On Tuesday July 21, Town Manager Michael Cramer said the deadline to submit resumes for the position has passed and they have a large pool of applicants to chose from.
Cramer explained, "We received 86 applications for the Police Chief position. It will take me a couple of weeks to go through them and create a short list.  After that I will perform phone interviews and face to face interviews."
He explained, "I am hoping to complete the interview process by the end of August.  The Police Chief is a direct report of the manager.  Council will not be included in the process, but I will keep them involved with updates."
Hinkle was placed on "Non disciplinary suspension with pay pending an investigation" Wednesday morning April 15th. The Town Council met in closed session for over two hours the previous night during their regular monthly meeting. Following that closed session Mayor Dan Wilcox announced that no action had been taken.
Cramer said, "Chief Hinkle was placed on non disciplinary suspension with pay pending an investigation" but said due to personnel privacy laws he was not able to release the details of what led to the decision to suspend Hinkle.
Harry Humphries is serving as Interim Police Chief.
On Friday May 29th, Barry K. Henline issued a press release stating, "On Wednesday April 15, 2015 Carolina Beach Police Chief Ken Hinkle was suspended with pay by Town Manager Michael Cramer as part of a non-disciplinary investigation.  The investigation was completed and Town Manager Cramer reached a decision in regards to Chief Hinkle’s status as Chief of Police for the Town of Carolina Beach. On Friday May 8, 2015 my client, Ken Hinkle, was informed by Town Manager Cramer that his employment with the Town of Carolina Beach was terminated immediately.  While Chief Hinkle was greatly disappointed with the decision made, and began the process of appealing Town Manager Cramer’s decision."
Henline explained, "On Friday May 29, 2015 my client, Ken Hinkle was informed by Town Manager Michael Cramer that his appeal of his termination of employment with the Town of Carolina Beach was considered. Mr. Hinkle was provided an appeal hearing by a neutral third party attorney who heard the appeal and who was to report his findings to Town Manager Cramer. Mr. Cramer has indicated he would not reverse his decision and upheld his decision to terminate Mr. Hinkle. This completes the appeal options available to Mr. Hinkle pursuant to Carolina Beach Town policy. Mr. Hinkle was again very disappointed and he and I will be discussing his other available options in the coming days. Please direct all questions to my law firm and we will answer any questions that we feel are appropriate to discuss at this time.  Given this matter has the potential to bring about civil litigation we cannot discuss any specifics of the allegations or the evidence to support or refute these allegations.  I would respectfully request that no members of the media contact Mr. Hinkle at his home or by phone."
Background:
In a letter to Chief Hinkle dated May 7th, Michael Cramer wrote, “Effective immediately, your employment with the Town of Carolina Beach is terminated. This decision is based on your: 1. Poor performance in complying with rules and regulations necessary for the proper administration of the police department. 2. Failure to abide by the Town of Carolina Beach Personnel Policy. 3. Insubordination or a stated refusal to perform assigned duties or a flagrant violation of work rules and regulations.”
The letter stated, “You will be paid through the end of the May 7th, 2015 work day. You will receive your final paycheck in the form of a direct deposit from the Town on May 14th, 2015. This payment of direct deposit will include any accrued unused vacation time. You will receive additional communications from the Human Resources department with regard to employee benefits and retirement programs. Please be advised that, if eligible, you may appeal your termination through Article X. Grievance Procedure and Adverse Action Appeal of the Town of Carolina Beach Personnel Policy dated February 14, 2012 and revised June 24, 2013.”
Hinkle was hired by the Town in November 2013 to replace outgoing chief Kurt Bartley. A release from the Town at the time of announcing his employment stated, “Chief Hinkle brings 30 plus years of policing experience most recently from the Village of Obetz, Ohio, where he worked as Police Chief for over five years. He has extensive knowledge of the principles and practices of community policing and developing strong relationships with business owners, residents and tourists."

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