- Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:38
- Published on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:38
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Interim Police Chief “Butch” Wells presented his recommendations to town council behind closed doors at council’s Dec. 8 meeting. After the closed session “for the hiring of a police chief,” which lasted 25 minutes, Vice Mayor Burkett Lyburn immediately re-opened and adjourned the regular council meeting without making any public announcements.
Within that 25-minute session, council authorized Town Manager Val Foulds to enter into contract negotiations with Major Kenneth W. Blevins, Sr., for the position of Chief of Police. Foulds issued a press release at noon on Friday announcing the negotiations.
Blevins is currently second in command of the department and has assisted Wells in his six-month tenure as interim chief. Wells was hired to assume command after contract negotiations broke down in June of this year between the town and then police chief Christopher Hawkins.
Wells’ job description included supervision of the police department and further asked for an assessment of the department and recommendation for a new police chief.
By recommending Blevins, who he has worked with on a daily basis for the last six months, Wells has acknowledged the hard work and dedication to the town displayed by Blevins. When asked about the contract negotiations, Blevins said “I’m happy. I’m eager. I appreciate the confidence the council, the town manager and Chief Wells have in me.”
Blevins, who has 30 years of experience in law enforcement, came to Colonial Beach in 2002 and was appointed second in command in 2008. He is a familiar face around town and at council meetings and is knowledgeable in statistical analysis. Blevins has presented easy-to-understand reports during the Public Safety committee meetings. According to Blevins “We need statistics for many reasons, for grants, for example. It shows what we’ve done and how we’ve done it.” The department handles approximately 5,000 incidents per year and to date for 2010 has opened 333 incident-based cases.
Throughout his 30 years in law enforcement, Blevins has achieved success as a crisis intervention negotiator, received recognition in the fields of drug law enforcement, vice and narcotics investigations, and, was named ‘Officer of the Year’ by the Fredericksburg Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Blevins graduated in 2009 from the National Criminal Justice Command College and is continuing his education and training in law enforcement and management. He has certifications in the use of Tasers, VCIN/NCIC training, drug instruction for law enforcement personnel, national child abuse seminar, and has studied grant writing, evidence collection, managing police discipline, multi-cultural policing, terrorism and hostage negotiations, and suicide prevention, among other law enforcement disciplines.
Citizen involvement is at the top of his list of issues he would like to advance in the town. Blevins is looking to start programs such as a citizen advisory committee and a citizens academy where law enforcement personnel can educate and empower citizens. Another top priority for Blevins is to “continue moving the department forward. The employees are great — I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with.”
Blevins has been married for 36 years and has three children and nine grandchildren.
Contract negotiations are expected to be finalize shortly between Blevins and the town and he could assume command of the department as early as January 2011.