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Marco Island police chief finalist Anthony Giaimo is holding his cards close to the vest ahead interviews that will factor into whether he becomes the next leader of the police department.

While calling the police department’s problems “eerily similar” to what he experienced before becoming the Tredyffrin Township (Pa.) superintendent of police, Giaimo declined to answer questions that were related to how he planned to rebuild the public’s trust in the police department.

“I will be happy to speak with you at length about all items post the interview process,” Giaimo said.

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Giaimo is one of the five remaining finalists for the Marco Island police chief position, which became open earlier this year after City Manager David Harden forced Chief Al Schettino to leave the department.

Harden previously cited the number of embarrassing incidents, most notably the three officers found to have had sex on duty, as well Schettino's decision to place an officer, whom the state attorney's office will not use as a witness in trials due to credibility concerns, back on patrol.

Giaimo on the remaining finalists are taking part in interviews and assessment testing June 6-7 before the selection of the police chief takes places next week.

The bulk of Giaimo’s law enforcement career came in Tredyffrin Township, where he spent 27 years of his career.

Under Giaimo’s watch, Tredyffrin Township was voted one of the safest communities in Pennsylvania.

Giaimo said the demographics and style of policing were similar to that of Marco Island in that the department needed to have an abundance of community policing activities.

Although he did not go into specifics, Giaimo said that when trying to fix problems in Tredyffrin Township, it was important to be out front with the issues and that it would take a person passionate about the police work to help Marco Island turn the corner.

“I want us to have that highest level of trust,” Giaimo said. “With the police department I was at, we had to rebuild, reorganize and reimage. The process was very definitive and we had to be fully engaged.”

Giaimo is a graduate of Temple University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and law; he later earned master’s degree in strategic leadership from Mountain State University with certifications in Behavioral Science, Terrorism, Management from the FBI National.

Giaimo did have a brief stint as the director of public safety at Florida Southwestern State College but said the assignment was only temporary as he had a difference in ethical standards from that of the college.

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