RPD captain named interim chief; administrator search moves ahead

Mar 23, 2017 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Beginning April 1, Riverton Police Department captain Eric Murphy will be the new interim chief of police.

Current chief Mike Broadhead announced his resignation in early March. He has been hired as chief for the Statesboro Police Department in Georgia.

The City of Riverton released an advertisement for the interim position soon after Broadhead made his announcement. On Monday, city staff interviewed three candidates for the position.

Two of the candidates were from within the police department-- Murphy and patrol division captain Todd Byerly.

Murphy was told Wednesday that he had been selected for the interim job.

He agreed with Byerly that both captains would be happy for either of them to get the job.

"We felt it was more important to keep the department together," Murphy said, referencing the relationships the RPD has established within the community and the department itself. "We feel we can do that better than an outside person."

Murphy said he is also interested in the permanent chief position at the RPD.

"I'm not looking to go anywhere else," he said. "Riverton, Wyoming, is my home."

Murphy said he was thrilled and excited to have the opportunity to serve as interim and was honored to have been picked.

"I'm going to do the best job I can," he said.

The interim transition will be seamless and easy, Murphy said, because he's been the captain at the RPD for eight years. Seven of those years were spent under the leadership of Broadhead. Murphy is familiar with protocol and style of management, and he has no plans to change anything once he takes over.

He said policies and procedures will remain the same, because the department already works well as it is.

"I feel like Broadhead has turned this department around," Murphy said. "It's the very best I've seen this department function."

The only difference he anticipates has to do with personalities. Broadhead usually maintained a reserved demeanor, Murphy said, while Murphy is more outwardly friendly, energetic and passionate.

"I absolutely love this police department," he said. "I love the employees here."

Murphy said he will meet with interim city administrator Courtney Bohlender to "get more direction" about what will be expected of him while he serves as interim chief.

City administrator

Riverton also is looking for a permanent city administrator. The Riverton City Council held an executive session Tuesday to decide which applicants to interview for the job.

Mayor Lars Baker will work with the council president and vice-president to conduct the preliminary interviews.

The council will hold another executive session April 4 to narrow the list of candidates further.

Three to five finalists will be invited to a public reception 4-6 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the City Hall council chambers.

On April 14, three separate panels consisting of council members, city employees and community members will interview the candidates.

The candidates also will be given tours of the city and municipal departments.

The city expects to make a final candidate selection during an executive session April 18. Two weeks will be allowed for transitional training involving the interim and new city administrator.

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