- Last Updated on Friday, 25 June 2010 02:12
- Published on Friday, 25 June 2010 02:12
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The rumors circulating around town apparently are true. Effective this coming Monday, June 28, Christopher Hawkins will no longer serve as Colonial Beach Police Chief.
Although no official word was spoken by council members at Thursday night's meeting, Town Manager Val Foulds said "Chief informed me last night he was no longer interested in negotiating the contract."
Negotiations had been taking place between town attorney Andrea Erard, Foulds, Hawkins and council members in e-mails and meetings this past week.
In a telephone interview, Hawkins expressed that the breakdown of negotiations "had nothing to do with money" but in "caveats not in the previous contract."Only Mayor Fred Rummage was forthcoming in response to a query of what new terms were included in the contract. He noted that the only additional language he wanted to see added to Hawkins' contract was to "clarify that the police chief answers to the town manager."
Council member Burkett Lyburn said he was "disappointed" and that Hawkins was "a good chief." Council member Karen Payne referred this reporter to the town attorney. Members David Coombes and Trish King made early exits, member Sparky Ridgely was not available, and member Steve Kennedy was not in attendance.
Hawkins further stated "the council has been very good to me; the town manager has been very good to me. I think everybody was trying to do the right thing, trying to do what they think is right."
He indicated that normally when there are negotiations of contracts, it takes time, and that in his case "the time was too short."
When asked about the overwhelming show of citizen support to council at its June 10 special meeting, Hawkins said "it was a very humbling experience." Hawkins further indicated that "the Police Department is in a good place right now" and he doesn't "hold any ill feelings."
Foulds said she is restarting a search process through the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police for an "accomplished, experienced, trained, and educated chief -- a retired chief" to act as an interim police chief.
-- Kathy Flanagan