Interim chief Robert Griffiths (Emily Files)

Interim chief Robert Griffiths (Emily Files)

UPDATE 10/29: Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner Gary Folger said Griffiths is the council’s selection for the job of executive director, but that decision needs approval from Gov. Bill Walker before it is final.

Original story:

Haines Interim Police Chief Robert Griffiths says he will not stay in Haines as permanent chief, but will instead take on the high-level job of Executive Director for the Alaska Police Standards Council in Juneau.

In an email Tuesday afternoon, Griffiths said ‘in spite of heavy recruiting, a generous offer and humbling community petitions,’ he will be leaving his post as interim chief in Haines. Griffiths started the job in the spring after the departure of former chief Bill Musser.

Griffiths was at the helm of the department when a scathing audit commissioned by the borough was released in August. He worked to implement improvements in a department that was scarred by years of disorganization and community mistrust.

At public meetings, many residents expressed hope that Griffiths would stay on as permanent police chief. He said at a town hall in late September that he was waiting to hear from another job, presumably the post at the Police Standards Council. Griffiths said Tuesday his last day as interim chief will be November 23.

In his email, Griffiths said he intends to ‘continue supporting Haines in its search for a new Chief and as a pro-bono consultant in the ongoing efforts to update the policies and procedures, implement the changes needed to modernize the department and affect the changes recommended in our recent management audit.’

Borough Manager Dave Sosa confirmed Griffiths’ departure from the department. He said no job listing for the permanent chief position has been posted yet.

Griffiths previously worked in the Cordova and Anchorage police departments. The State Police Standards Council establishes minimum standards and training requirements for Alaska public safety officers and has the power to revoke officers’ formal certification.