After negotiations fell through a week ago, the Haines Borough announced today that it hired Washington D.C.-based Heath Scott as the next police chief.
When Scott asked the borough for $27,000 in moving expenses on top of the $95,000 salary, things fell apart. The borough decided to cease negotiations and start the hiring process over again.
But Wednesday morning, Haines’ new borough manager Bill Seward got a text from Scott asking for them to reconsider. Here’s Seward reading part of that text from Heath Scott:
“‘Candace and I want to invest in our family, and the extra time we will have with one another and the kids is far more important than the cost of a move. Further, I feel I can help the community,’” Seward read. “So I went ahead and accepted his invitation to reopen negotiations.”
Scott asked for $20,000 in moving expenses with a five-year commitment, but they eventually agreed on $15,000 for the move and a three-year commitment. Seward said that’s still more than the usual $10,000 the borough pays for moving assistance, but it’s worth it.
“In addition, (is his) willingness to accept additional duties and responsibilities, if the assembly chose to pursue a change in the chief of police position into the director of public safety.”
At a Personnel Committee meeting earlier this week, Seward proposed turning the police chief position into the role of Director of Public Safety. The new job would incorporate overseeing the full-time fire department employees. Details have yet to be worked out, pending more discussions with the Public Safety Commission, the Personnel Committee and, ultimately, the assembly.
“In a nutshell, that’s what he accepted,” Seward said. “Having that kind of talent here in Haines I think is going to be rare, and then if the assembly chose to change that position and give it greater responsibility, his willingness to train as a fire fighter and then oversee that program is absolutely phenomenal.”
Since 2008, Scott has been the deputy chief at an agency called the District of Columbia Protective Services Division. His education is focused on policing, and includes a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University.
Scott is expected to take the reins as police chief on July 18.