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Chris Blue candidate for Chapel Hill Police Chief

Asst. Chris Blue only candidate

	Assistant chief Chris Blue began at the department in 1997.

Assistant chief Chris Blue began at the department in 1997.

Chapel Hill aims to have a new police chief by the end of the month, and only one candidate is being considered.

Assistant Police Chief Chris Blue is going through an assessment process by town manager Roger Stancil, who will make the final decision, said town spokeswoman Catherine Lazorko.

The town set the deadline based on Chief Brian Curran’s Nov. 30 retirement.

“Because there is some sensitivity due to the fact that Assistant Chief Blue is currently undergoing assessment, and we want to respect his eligibility and the process, commenting on how he’s doing would be inappropriate,” Lazorko said.

She said if Blue is not chosen, the town does not have a plan to find a new chief at this time.

After Stancil recommended looking for a chief internally to the Chapel Hill Town Council in June 2010, Curran’s position was open to the two assistant police chiefs and three captains.

The same assessment process was used in 2007 when former Police Chief Gregg Jarvies retired. Blue was the second-highest ranking candidate during that process.

Blue received his bachelor’s degree from UNC in radio, television and motion pictures in 1990 and his master’s degree in public administration from N.C. State University in 2005. He began working with the Chapel Hill Police Department in 1997.

“He’s a person that listens to you, not one to jump to and make a rash decision,” said Capt. Leo Vereen, who started directly working with Blue at the police department about eight years ago and has known him for 12.

The town has sent out surveys and asked for feedback about Blue as part of the process, Vereen said.

Vereen said he did not apply for the position because he believes Blue is the most qualified person and he did not see a need for competition.

Blue has also served as president of the Volunteers for Youth, a county-based organization aiming to aid children and teenagers who have been in trouble with the law or are at risk of getting involved with crime. He currently serves as treasurer.

Susan Worley, the executive director of the organization, said as a citizen she would support Blue as chief.

“He has a good understanding of the community. He grew up in Chapel Hill,” she said. “I think it would be a good thing for our town.”

Contact the City Editor at citydesk@unc.edu.

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