By Estella R. Fullmer
For Hometown News
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The International Association of Police Chiefs collected more than 150 applications in the nationwide search for New Smyrna Beach's next police chief. At the April 23 City Commission meeting, one of those applicants, George E. Markert, director of Office of Public Integrity in Rochester, N.Y., is expected to be confirmed.
After a three-month search through some highly qualified candidates, the city interviewed seven men. "We conducted a very thorough search to make the right decision," City Manager Pam Brangaccio said. "We interviewed several very qualified applicants extensively. In the end, the best fit for New Smyrna Beach was clear."
Director Markert earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Empire State College in Rochester. He continued his education at the FBI National Academy's 197th session. He has 30 years of experience in law enforcement at the Rochester Police Department, which includes serving as executive deputy chief, deputy chief of administration and finally director of the Office of Public Integrity.
Coming from a larger police department, Director Markert said he feels police work is all about relationship building. "You have to get out and meet the people and get on a first-name basis," he said at the city's "meet the next police chief" reception. "You will see me in the community and I will be a part of it."
During his time as executive deputy chief in Rochester, he said they brought crime rates down and it was largely due to getting to know the people in the communities and determining their needs.
"I am humbled and proud to be part of this group of individuals applying for this job," said Director Markert during the reception. "You have a great police force here and a good management team. I want to be part of the direction this city is going."
During his tour of the city, he was impressed by the city. "I saw positive signs of success which shows you have a winning team. I want to be part of it and believe there are good things in store for New Smyrna Beach," Director Markert said.
During the search, Lt. Michael Brouillette has been acting police chief and was one of the candidates for the job. "Lt. Brouillette has done as excellent job as our interim police chief," City Manager Brangaccio said. "The city is fortunate to have such a dedicated and skilled member of our law enforcement team."
She will appoint George E. Markert subject to confirmation by the City Commission. If confirmed by the City Commission, «hief Markert will earn $102,000 a year. His first day on the job is expected to be May 28.