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Senior Captain John Cartledge currently serves as the interim police chief for Northampton until the city finds its next chief.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

NORTHAMPTON — The city of Northampton has begun its formal search for the city’s next police chief.

The mayor’s office announced on April 10 that a job posting for the position with minimum qualifications was developed and disseminated locally and nationally, with a deadline for interested candidates to submit a resume and cover letter to Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra no later than May 3.

This official search comes three months after previous police chief Jody Kasper left Northampton’s department to become the chief in Nantucket. Once she finished her tenure in Northampton on Jan. 2, the city named senior Captain John Cartledge as the interim chief.

Cartledge will continue to serve as the interim until the search is complete.

“I am sincerely grateful and excited to have this opportunity to serve our department and community as the interim chief of police,” Cartledge told Reminder Publishing in the winter. “I look forward to working with our community and agency in this capacity. We have a great city and department, together we will move forward in this time of transition and change.”

Over the course of her 26 years in Northampton, Kasper was a patrol officer, field training officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, detective lieutenant, captain of operations and then named chief in 2015.

“I’m grateful to have worked with such committed people in the Northampton Police Department and throughout the city’s departments,” said Kasper, in a statement when she announced her departure. “It has been an honor to serve the city alongside my colleagues. Together, we’ve made real progress for our community.”

According to the mayor’s announcement, the city hired search consultant Public Safety Consultants, LLC last month of Boxford to assist with the search. They are the same consultant that Northampton used in 2015 to eventually hire Kasper as the police chief at the time.

Sciarra has also appointed a seven-person screening committee for the search comprised of Health and Human Services Commissioner Merridith O’Leary, Human Resources Director Chad Dunham, City Council President Alex Jarrett, at-large City Councilor Garrick Perry, University of Massachusetts Amherst Assistant Chancellor and Chief of Police Tyrone Parham and Northampton residents Allison Pash and Felicia Lundquist.

Pash represents clients in Hampshire and Franklin Counties as a staff for the Public Defender Division of the Northampton Trial Office and the Committee for Public Counsel Service. She is formerly an assistant district attorney in Berkshire and president-elect of the Hampshire County Bar Association.

Parham, a native of Philadelphia, has been the assistant vice chancellor/chief of police at UMass Amherst since January 2016. He received his bachelor’s degree in crime, law, and justice and his master’s degree in workforce education and development from Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Lundquist, meanwhile, previously directed diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Springfield College, where she also taught. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Spanish and a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Currently, she serves as a training manager at Think Again Training and Consulting and co-chairs the Community Engagement Committee of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

According to the mayor’s announcement, the screening committee will work with Public Safety Consultants to evaluate candidates’ qualifications, experience, and the fit for the role through preliminary interviews.

The hope is for the city to choose three or four candidates for further consideration and then allow community input through interactions with the finalists.

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