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Search process starts for new Madison Police Chief

Published On: Dec 24 2013 01:55:57 AM CST   Updated On: Aug 14 2013 06:02:05 PM CDT

Madison's Police and Fire Commission is starting the process to replace outgoing Police Chief Noble Wray.

Monday night's meeting will be largely to set a timeline for replacing the chief, which is a process that could look inside or outside the department.

"A major decision for them to be looking at will be the scope of the search," said PFC attorney Scott Herrick. "Basically whether to search within the department only or search more broadly than that."

Herrick says that decision will take some time, but may depend on who is interested.

"I think the commissioners probably feel pretty good about who is in the department, but that does not mean that those people will be applying to be chief," said Herrick.

WISC-TV spoke to sources within the department about possible candidates, and asked those candidates about their interest.

Assistant Chief Randy Gaber, who will be the interim chief after Wray's exit, said it was "too early to tell at this point" whether he would pursue the job.

Sgt. Mike Koval, with MPD personnel and training, lost out on the position nine years ago to Wray. Koval said in an email he would give the position "strong consideration" if deemed eligible, saying he could provide a "leadership style to build on the department's reputation."

Capt. Joe Balles of the South District says he has not decided yet whether to pursue the job, but has not ruled it out.

Capt. Mary Schauf of the East District said she had not made a final decision on whether or not she will pursue the position.

Four told us they would not pursue the job, including Assistant Chief John Davenport, West District Capt. Vic Wahl and two former MPD officers who are now chiefs in other states. Mike Masterson took the chief job in Boise, Idaho, the day after Wray's appointment nine years ago, and Bill Housley left the department in 2005 to become chief in Granby, Colorado. Both said they weren't interested in the job at this time.

Herrick says in the past when searches have remained internal only, the PFC has put out an inquiry within the department to see who may apply and then commissioners decide if they feel there are enough quality applicants to choose from. They may decide to do that again this time, or simply choose to open up the search.

Watch this story on the Channel3000 video page, here

  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

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