When Moundsville Police Chief James Kudlak announced in February that he planned to retire, the city began a search for its first new chief in almost a decade. Now, as Kudlak moves on, the department will operate without a chief for the next two months before a new chief is chosen.
City Manager Allen Hendershot, a former police chief himself, will select a chief from numerous applications submitted in the past few months.
"We have closed the application process, and we have a number of good candidates both inside of the department and from elsewhere to choose from," he said.
The department devised a plan to cover the two-month gap by assigning new responsibilities to high-ranking officers. Those plans fell by the wayside, however, when one of the officers informed Hendershot he, too, would be leaving to take a new job.
Hendershot said a new plan is in place, and the transition has slowly been implemented while Kudlak was still in office. Hendershot noted the new chief will have a unique opportunity when he or she takes over, as the department will move into the Knights of Pythias building on Tomlinson Avenue. Kudlak, who made the move a goal of his, said he is sure the change will go smoothly and is happy to see it finally happen.
"We have more than 20 people working in three cramped rooms, and this will allow five times the space," Kudlak said.