Crime

Two internal and two external candidates under consideration for Lexington police chief

Lexington Police Chief candidates clockwise from left: Lexington Assistant Police Chiefs Lawrence Weathers, Mark Barnard, Terri Wilfong of Greenville, S.C. and Dwayne Depp of Frankfort.
Lexington Police Chief candidates clockwise from left: Lexington Assistant Police Chiefs Lawrence Weathers, Mark Barnard, Terri Wilfong of Greenville, S.C. and Dwayne Depp of Frankfort. HERALD-LEADER

Two internal and two external candidates are under consideration for Lexington police chief, the city announced Thursday.

Lexington assistant police chiefs Mark Barnard and Lawrence Weathers both applied for the job, according to a news release. Barnard heads the department's Bureau of Investigation, and Weathers heads the Bureau of Special Operations.

Dwayne Depp of Frankfort and Terri Wilfong of Greenville, S.C., are the two outside candidates.

Depp, who has more than 24 years of law enforcement experience, is a member of the Kentucky Parole Board and previously served as assistant director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky and commander of the Kentucky State Police post in Morehead, the release said.

Wilfong, who retired as chief of the Greenville Police Department in April, has more than 33 years of experience in law enforcement and is a former Louisville Metro Police Department deputy chief. She earned a master's degree in justice administration from the University of Louisville.

Wilfong said her decision to apply for Lexington police chief just a few months after retiring was a family decision and influenced by the department's reputation.

"It has an outstanding record," she said. "It's a great opportunity ... there's no place like home."

Wilfong said if she's selected, she would first do an analysis of the department in an effort to keep moving it in the right directions.

Wilfong said she had previously decided to sell her home and move back to Kentucky.

In a joint statement, Barnard and Weathers expressed their hope to fill the vacancy, one of the most high-profile positions in the city.

"We appreciate the opportunity to be considered as candidates to lead Lexington's world-class police department, which we have both served for more than two decades. In respect for the selection committee and process, we will reserve further comment until a decision has been made."

Depp could not be reached for comment.

The new chief will follow Police Chief Ronnie Bastin. Mayor Jim Gray announced Dec. 2 that he is promoting Bastin to public safety commissioner.

Bastin, who was appointed chief Jan. 7, 2008, is replacing former FBI agent Clay Mason as public safety commissioner. Mason is joining a consulting company.

Bastin is to retire as police chief in January. He will receive a pension from the department in addition to the commissioner's salary.

A selection committee appointed by Gray has scheduled interviews with the four candidates for Tuesday. The committee consists of city officials, community representatives, professors and business owners.

City government spokeswoman Susan Straub said the mayor, who has the authority to appoint the chief, will decide after hearing the committee's recommendations.

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