Recruitment process begins for next Marco Island police chief

Devan Patel
Marco Eagle
The recruitment process has begun to find the next Marco Island police chief.

With Police Chief Al Schettino headed for retirement, the city of Marco Island has released its recruiting brochure designed to find the department's next leader.

The city will be utilizing the services of the Florida Police Chiefs Association STARS Program to assist in the search for a new leader. The application period ends on April 26.

"We are confident that this approach will bring to the city highly qualified candidates for this important position," City Manager David Harden wrote in an email.

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One month ago, Schettino announced he would be retiring on June 15, marking his 10th anniversary with the department.

He has come under intense scrutiny over the past year after making questionable leadership decisions and with the department being involved in a number of embarrassing incidents.

Last year, three Marco Island police officers were found to have had sex on duty with the same woman between 2015 and 2017. Another officer that knew about one of the officers involved received a written reprimand before being promoted months later.

Dashcam footage from traffic stops last month also showed that the woman involved in the sexual relationship with the officers may be receiving special treatment after being pulled over twice by Marco Police; in one incident suspected marijuana use was indicated.

More:Islander who had sex with former Marco police officers given 'free pass' after traffic stops

During one stop, Schettino is heard telling an officer over the phone to give the woman a warning despite the officer intending to give her a ticket for speeding. 

Also in question, Schettino's decision to move Officer Tige Thompson to patrol in 2015, despite being a member of the state attorney's office's do-not-subpoena list, also  known as the "Brady" list. The state attorney's office has refused to utilize Thompson as a witness in criminal cases due to his history of dishonesty. For the majority of Thompson's arrests, the state attorney's office has declined to prosecute. 

More:State attorney's office declined to prosecute multiple Marco Island criminal charges last month due to 'Brady cop'

Dismissed cases include an incident in late December where a Marco Island man barricaded himself in his home with a cache of weapons and allegedly threatened to harm officers that responded to the scene.

The STARS program offers to help the city whittle down the list of candidates and identify the best candidates for the position.

Once finalists are identified, the program will help facilitate a meet-and-greet, an interview panel and develop interview questions.

The city is seeking a candidate with at least a bachelor's degree and 10 years of experience in law enforcement of which three years must be as a chief. The city will also consider candidates that have served as a deputy or assistant chief in departments similar to its police department.

The brochure offers the next police chief a salary between $105,000 and $120,000 with a 30 percent benefit allowance.

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