North Texas Daily

Denton police chief resigns

Denton police chief resigns

Denton police chief resigns
August 09
16:23 2018

Police Chief Lee Howell has resigned after leading the Denton Police Department for nearly seven years. He is leaving to be the police chief Saginaw Police Department, and his resignation is effective Aug. 6.

The Denton Police Department has not given any details on why Howell stepped down. The city of Denton said they are now conducting a nationwide search for the next police chief.

“Chief Howell has provided many years of outstanding service to the community,” said Sarah Kuechler, director of public affairs for the city of Denton. “The city has been fortunate to benefit from his experience, integrity, compassion and professionalism.”

The city of Denton will use the services of Ralph Anderson & Associates to help conduct this search. The position has been posted and applications will be accepted through July 27. After reviewing all applications and selecting finalists, there will be a two-day interview process tentatively planned for August 30 and 31.

In addition, candidate meet-and-greet receptions will be held with both the city council and the public to gather input and provide feedback to the city manager who hires the police chief. They hope to find a candidate with a number of traits and experience that will translate to greater success in Denton.

“The goal of the nation-wide search is to identify the absolute best person to fill the position, whether that person is an internal candidate or someone who can bring in expertise from elsewhere,” police spokesperson Bryan Cose said.

Chief Howell first began his career in law enforcement with the Denton Police Department in 1981. He previously served as a patrol officer, field training officer, sergeant, lieutenant and captain in various department divisions. Howell was also an original founding member of the Denton Police Tactical Unit, serving a total of 16 years on the team, including eight years as commander.

During his tenure, he oversaw a period of rapid growth in the department, the implementation of several technological advances and the creation of the Denton Basic Police Academy. In 2016, Chief Howell adopted the P.R.I.D.E. policy which stands for professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence. This became the guiding principle for all departmental activities after its implementation.

“Howell has a distinguished record of leading excellence in public safety,” Saginaw City Manager Gabe Reaume said. “He will bring a wealth of experience and a commitment to high professional standards, as well as the ability to mentor the next generation of leaders in our department. We are honored to work with him.”

After Saginaw’s previous Chief of Police retired earlier this year, they chose to advertise and accept over 80 applications throughout 14 states. Chief Howell’s credentials and experience made him a front runner from initial applicant review.

Doug Spears, interim Saginaw police and fire chief, said the community response has been positive regarding the selection process and decision of selecting Chief Howell as their next Chief.

“His professional experience and demeanor will without question have a positive impact on our department,” Spears said. “His proven ability to lead others as opposed to simply managing and doing so with a high level of integrity, accountability and likability will not only impact our police department but the community as a whole.”

Featured Image: Courtesy DRC

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Cory Allen

Cory Allen

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