September 17, 2013
KINGSPORT – After a broad search of more than 40 candidates, including candidates with military, federal and state experience, City Manager John Campbell announced Tuesday that interim Police Chief David Quillin will be removing the interim from his title after his selection as the 14th Chief of Police, succeeding Chief Gale Osborne, who retired in May.
“This was a very difficult personnel decision given those at top of the talent pool, who have a tremendous amount of ability and experience,” Campbell said. “It speaks highly to the professionalism of the Kingsport Police Department that we had not one, but three qualified candidates for the position of chief, who stacked up strongly against the best candidates from around the country.”
In assessing the candidates, Campbell enlisted Bristol Tennessee Police Chief Blaine Wade, Kingsport Assistant Fire Chief Scott Boyd, Johnson City Assistant City Manager Charlie Stahl, former Kingsport Human Resources Director Barbara Duncan and Alderman Tom Segelhorst, who is also the human resources director for Domtar, in narrowing the field.
Each of the five finalists were assessed in several areas, including a one hour interview by the panel covering seven competency areas involving management skills and techniques, technology, interpersonal skills, work habits and teamwork skills. This portion of the assessment represented 60 percent of the final assessed score.
A second assessment reviewed the candidates’ abilities to perform under pressure, make a public presentation, and address a complicated issue in a review and respond scenario through a mock press conference.
The third major assessment involved the ability for all five candidates to work cooperatively as a team in a leaderless scenario towards the resolution of a problem, with each candidate then making a presentation to the assessment panel on what aspects they brought to solving the problem.
Criteria for the major competencies that were assessed were developed in consultation with a Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen member, two former Kingsport Police Chiefs, several members of the Kingsport Police Department command staff, including two captains, and the City Manager.
“The results indicate two of the candidates were rated exceptional, and all rated strongly” Campbell said. “In the final analysis, Chief Quillin has consistently demonstrated the command presence necessary to continue our Department’s strong tradition of transparency, accountability and excellence of service on behalf of the citizens of Kingsport. He has the ability to understand all roles in the Department, and has served in most of them as well.”
As with his predecessor, Quillin worked his way up through the ranks of the Department, beginning in 1985 as a corrections officer. The many roles he has performed included uniformed patrol office, K-9 officer, vice detective, patrol corporal, training sergeant, community policing sergeant, member of the Kingsport Police Department Honor Guard and a 10-year member of the SWAT team.
In addition, Quillin has served as a Deputy Chief of Police since 2001, first in the Administrative Bureau, then in the Operations Bureau beginning in 2007.
Quillin is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy and holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Tusculum College.
“I am deeply honored by my selection and look forward to continuing my service to the citizens of Kingsport as Chief of a highly trained, highly professional department composed of men and women who live daily by the traits of courage, integrity and justice,” Quillin said. “As the 14th Chief of Police, I look to the Board of Mayor and Alderman, City Manager, citizens, those who came before and the members of our department today for guidance and support as we work together to ensure the safest community possible for the law abiding residents of Kingsport.
“While working collectively, I also look forward to moving the already high bar for standards, conduct and performance of our department to an even higher level through good, old-fashioned shoe leather police work and deployment of cutting edge technology alike.”
The department is authorized for 118 sworn police officer positions, as well as a civilian support staff of 40 full-time and 15-part-time members for a total of 183 personnel. The department was the first in region to receive national accreditation, and the third in the state to achieve that standard. Currently, the department is amid its seventh reaccreditation review process.