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Derry police plan to fill vacancy from within

Union Leader Correspondent

August 23. 2013 9:17PM

DERRY — Derry police will look from within the department to fill a vacancy created by the departure of a longtime lieutenant who recently became Fremont’s new police chief.

After working 28 years for the Derry Police Department, Lt. Jon Twiss left and began serving earlier this month as Fremont’s chief. Fremont selectmen appointed Twiss last month to the part-time post that pays a salary of $53,000 a year.

Derry police plan to replace Twiss from within the department, said Derry Police Capt. Vernon Thomas. Following Twiss’ departure, Derry is down from five to four lieutenants.

“It is our plan to replace him,” Thomas said. “We have a process that will take place in September.”

Beginning next month, police administrators will look from among the eight sergeants on staff to fill the post, he said. And once the lieutenant’s job is filled, it will in turn create a need to fill the vacant sergeant’s post from the remaining officers on board, Thomas said.

“This will be an opportunity for several people who have experience and are interested in getting promoted,” Thomas said.

Of the department’s five lieutenant positions, one is in administration, another in the detective division and three are in patrol, he said.The open position is in administration and is a Monday through Friday job, making it more attractive to sergeants who are working some weekend shifts, he added.The lieutenant job pays a salary of about $70,0000 a year.

To attract the right candidates for the job, the department is willing to offer the relatively higher paying salary, Thomas said, adding that it is difficult to find qualified applicants without providing a salary of that scale.

It is a lot of money in a difficult economy, but those chosen for the position will earn every dollar, Thomas said.

“We make sure the officers earn it each day,” Thomas said. “The job is not like any other. They make split-second decisions that get evaluated by others for months, perhaps years.”

Politics Public Safety Derry

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