Police Chief Backed for Assistant Manager; Atlantic Beach's Jim Hanson Wants David Thompson to Be His No. 2

By Dixon, Drew | The Florida Times Union, July 26, 2008 | Go to article overview

Police Chief Backed for Assistant Manager; Atlantic Beach's Jim Hanson Wants David Thompson to Be His No. 2


Dixon, Drew, The Florida Times Union


Byline: DREW DIXON

ATLANTIC BEACH - The city's top cop could soon become one of its top administrators.

City Manager Jim Hanson is recommending in the proposed 2008-09 budget moving Police Chief David Thompson into a new assistant city manager post. Police Capt. Michael Classey is being recommended as the next chief.

The proposal still needs City Commission approval as part of the budget package, which takes effect Oct. 1.

Hanson said Thompson, who also serves as the city's public safety director, would do well in the new job.

"David Thompson has taken a number of responsibilities beyond that of police chief," Hanson said Wednesday. "He has good help in the Police Department, which has allowed him to use his time for other things."

Thompson is in charge of information technology systems, disaster planning, animal control and several other departmental responsibilities, Hanson said. Thompson also served about a year as interim city manager until Hanson was hired in 1999.

While assistant city manager is a new position in the current administration, Hanson said there have been assistant city managers in the past, including Jim Jarboe, who is now the Neptune Beach city manager.

Hanson said increasing demands on the city's administration require the assistant city manager's position.

"Part of it is the increasing responsibility of the city," Hanson said.

Thompson, 52, was hired in December 1983 as chief when he was 28. He said in April 2007 that he was prepared to retire from the post when he hired Classey as captain in 2006, with the intention of having Classey replace him upon his retirement.

Thompson applied for a police chief's post in Ashland, Ky., in April 2007 but withdrew his application after making a short list of three candidates for that job. …

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