Turlock Council Hires Recruitment Firm to Fill Police Chief Position

The City of Turlock hired Teri Black & Company LLC, an executive recruitment firm, to start the process of hiring a new Police Chief. Former Turlock Police Chief Gary Hampton resigned as of July 31, 2011, and Dave Young is currently serving as Interim Chief of Police.

Hiring an outside firm is a common practice if filling positions in competitive fields such as law enforcement. However, the item was pulled from the Consent Calendar for discussion at the September 13, 2011, Council Meeting by Councilwoman Mary Jackson over concern of the cost.  
Jackson voiced her concern, stating "I am the one that requested this item to be pulled because we need to be frugal in these times. I don’t feel comfortable going with an outside agency. I feel that we can do it in house for less and save as much money as possible."
City Manager, Roy Wasden, reviewed the staff’s reasoning for recommending an outside firm versus in-house. The cost to do the hiring process in house, based on the advertising and amount of staff time to do an extensive search, would be approximately $22,000. In addition, it would require an additional part-time staff person to meet the needs since Human Resources is already at a maximum work load. There are also limitations that the City of Turlock has in comparison to a professional firm with existing databases and contacts in the field to reach the pool of suitable candidates for Turlock.
"We believe we’ll get a much better product using a firm such as Teri Black & Company," said Wasden.
The Professional Service Agreement with Teri Black & Company LLC defines providing the following services:
1) Establish job requirements, obtain appropriate stakeholder feedback and develop a candidate profile.
2) Prepare recruitment brochure and place advertising.
3) Execute Direct Mail Campaign and Personal Outreach Strategy.
     – Distribute brochure to network
     – Identify and Contact referral services
     – Identify and Contact potential candidates
4) Conduct preliminary screening.
5) Prepare report summarizing results of the recruitment process and assist in the selection of finalists.
6) Assist client in design and implementation of the final selection process; prepare materials and facilitate selection activities.
7) Assist with coordination of background and reference checks.
8) Facilitate negotiations and transition details with candidate selected.
The cost of the above services will be $25,000 and is already within the existing Police Department budget that previously would have been the Police Chief’s salary. 
Gary Hampton’s annual compensation was $182,580, before recent concessions, while receiving $60 month for cell phone/technology, a car equipped for emergency service, and a $1,200 uniform allowance (lump sum).
The final vote was 4-1 in favor of hiring the firm, with Jackson as the one opposing vote. Wasden estimates that the process will completed sometime in December.

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