City leans toward Kansas chief for LHPD top cop

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By SHELLY WILKISON

The City of Liberty Hill is one council vote away from hiring a new Police Chief, and the preferred candidate is Chief of Police in Ellsworth, Kansas.

City Administrator Greg Boatright said council action on the top candidate is expected Monday, May 23. Prior to the regular meeting and an executive session discussion, Boatright said the candidate will be introduced during a brief reception.

The resumes of the top four candidates interviewed by phone by Boatright and some council members were provided to The Independent on Tuesday in response to an Open Records Request.

Boatright confirmed Tuesday that he is recommending the out-of-state applicant — Maverick Campbell, and added that a compensation package would be discussed in executive session.

He said 27 applications were submitted for the position, and council members joined him in conducting phone interviews of their top four applicants.

Other applicants interviewed by phone were Texas residents Michael Douglas Jennings, the police chief in Dublin; Clarence Yarbrough, police chief in Lexington; and Llewelyn “Lou” De Lira, chief of police in Briarcliff.

If selected, Campbell fills a vacancy created last month with the resignation of Randy Williams.

Williams created the Liberty Hill Police Department in 2006 and served 10 years as its only Chief. He said he was resigning for health reasons.

Boatright said the Council’s goal is to have the new chief in place in June.

According to his resume, Campbell has been police chief in Ellsworth, Kansas, since 2014.

From 2011-2014, he was a lieutenant over a shift in the Patrol Division of the Geary County Sheriff’s Department in Junction City, Kansas. Also in Geary County, he worked as a commander in the Investigation Division and a commander in Administrative/Professional Standards Division.

From 2007-2011, he worked as a police officer in San Diego Region, California. He was a police officer/corporal from 2003-2007 in Riverside Region, California; and from 2002-2003, he was a public safety supervisor at the Pechanga Indian Reservation/Casino and Resort in Temecula, California.

Campbell is a US Air Force veteran, who served during Operation Enduring Freedom in Southeast Asia. He served as E-4 Military Police Desk Sergeant from 1994-2002.

According to his resume, Campbell is currently attending the University of Phoenix where he is working on a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration with a 2017 expected graduation date. He has also earned community college credit.

Boatright said if selected, Campbell will be required to complete the state-mandated 100 hours of class time to become certified as a peace officer in Texas. He said the training will take up to three weeks once he is hired by Liberty Hill.

He added that Interim Chief Jeff Ringstaff, who served as sergeant under Williams, had input into Boatright’s selection of Campbell.

Boatright said Campbell comes from a small police department with about the same number of employees as LHPD.

“He (Campbell) really stood out,” Boatright said. “We’re excited about being able to extend this to him and look forward to working out the details.”

He said he was joined in phone interviews by Council members Ron Rhea, Wendell McLeod and Mayor Connie Fuller. Applicants were given a list of questions prior to the phone interview.

Among the applicants not chosen for a final interview, Jennings’ resume shows prior law enforcement experience with Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Austin ISD Police Department, Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office, Jersey Village Police Department and Houston Police Department.

He has been chief in Dublin since November 2015, and previously worked as an Associate Municipal Court Judge in Lago Vista, was director of the Capital Area Council of Governments Regional Law Enforcement Academy, and also served as an inspector with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards for one month.

Yarbrough’s resume shows he has served as Lexington’s police chief since 2011. Prior law enforcement experience includes a year with Fayette County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve investigator, and seven years with Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, as patrol/investigator.

The document also shows he served as interim police chief/investigator for City of Cockrell Hill from 1999-2013. He also worked as a reserve police officer in Hutchins.

De Lira has been police chief in Briarcliff since 2002. He is also currently serving as security manager at The Reserve @ Lake Travis and Angel Bay Subdivision in Spicewood.

Previously, he was an investigator for the Texas Racing Commission, as well as an Internal Affairs investigator at Texas Youth Commission. De Lira also previously worked as a police office for Houston Police Department and as a juvenile probation officer in Travis County, as well as a state parole officer.

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