Sunday, August 27, 2000

Official runs for two jobs

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        TRENTON — Alan T. Laney wants to be the boss — badly.

        The Fairfield Township police captain, who is the department's assistant chief, is one of five finalists for the top police job in Trenton.

    In addition to needing a new police chief, Trenton City Council is starting anew to replace longtime city manager Mel Ruder, who retired last month. Ronald Phelps, the city service director, is acting city manager.
    The post is being re-advertised after a previous finalist turned down the job, Mayor Roy Wilham said.
    “We're making a it a little more wide open this time and we'll see where it goes,” Mr. Wilham said. “We're going to go straight from the bottom up again.”
    Council is also gearing up for yet another personnel search, this time for a city attorney. Thomas Stubbs, who had been Trenton's attorney for nearly 30 years, was killed in a car crash last week.

        He's also the Democratic candidate for Butler County sheriff in the November election.

        “I'm interested in the job as far as a chief's position is concerned,” Capt. Laney said.

        “I also (applied) because at this juncture in my career ... I have to start looking into my next level of advancement.”

        He said he is still committed to his campaign for sheriff, but that it was important to his career to undergo a police chief application process.

        The city received 23 applications for the chief's post.

        The finalists to replace Joe E. Richard, who retired in July, are:

        • Capt. Laney, a Fairfield Township officer since 1991. He is running against incumbent Butler County Sheriff Harold “Don” Gabbard.

        • Rodney D. Hale, a Middletown police sergeant and a former Trenton council member. Mr. Hale earlier this year resigned his council seat to apply for the police chief's job.

        • Daniel Umstead, an Oxford police lieutenant. He has been with the department since 1981, and has served as its acting chief.

        • Ronald E. VanNuys, a sergeant in the Fairborn Police Department who has been with the department since 1980.

        • E. Carl Bush, a detective sergeant with the Trotwood, Ohio, police department. He has been with the agency since 1981.

        A new police chief could be named within a month, Mayor Roy Wilham said. In the meantime the police department is being run by Acting Chief David Agoston.

        The finalists will be assessed by representatives from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. As part of the assessment, the candidates will be placed in intense simulated situations and reviewed, said Trenton acting city manager Ronald Phelps.


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