JUST IN: Boynton Beach announces three finalists for top cop position

A recruitment company and city staff has named three men out of 83 applicants as finalists to be Boynton Beach’s next chief and the public is invited to meet the trio in June.

The finalists are: Boynton Beach Police Assistant Chief Joseph DeGiulio; Kenneth Ferguson, who retired this year as chief of the Framingham Police Department in Massachusetts after 34 years there; and Michael Gregory, an assistant chief at Fort Lauderdale Police with 30 years of experience at the department.

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Three panels — law enforcement, community and leadership — will interview the candidates June 11. The panel members will give feedback to City Manager Lori LaVerriere, who will then hold final interviews. The public can meet the candidates the same day from 6-7:30 p.m. at a Community Reception at Fire Station 5, 2080 High Ridge Rd.

The city used Strategic Government Resources to handle the nationwide search, which attracted applicants from 24 states and one U.S. territory, according to the city. SGR worked with LaVerriere and Human Resources Director Julie Oldbury to choose the finalists.

Kelly Harris, the interim police chief, also applied, said police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater. Harris is in the retirement DROP program, she said. LaVerriere appointed Harris as interim after Jeffrey Katz retired as chief in December after about four years in that position and about 20 with the department.

Katz is now chief of the Chesterfield County Police Department in Virginia.

The new chief will lead 155 officers, 53 non-sworn employees and operate a $30.4 million budget. The salary range is from $99,662 to $149,494, according to the job listing.

Mayor Steven Grant said the city wants the new chief to hold the position for at least 10 years.

“We don’t want to be doing this every five years,” he said.

Katz replaced G. Matthew Immler who retired in 2013, the same year two majors were fired and the department was dealing with an outside review that described it as a “troubled organization” and “beset with strife.”

Grant said he expects the new chief to work closely with the city’s residents.

“Because we understand the police can’t do it alone so I want to make sure that the police chief is doing community outreach so that they can be made aware of a situation before it turns bad,” Grant said.

Grant said he wants the chief to be well-respected by his officers and “is able to control his troops and move the city into the right direction.” He also called for more technology to be used in the department.

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