Finalists named in search of Huntington Police Chief


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The hunt for the next Chief Constable for the Huntington Police Department has been narrowed down to two finalists.

On Monday, Mayor Steve Williams announced the final names of retired Federal Constable Karl Colder and Huntington Police Lieutenant Phil Watkins.

Colder and Watkins were recommended as finalists to Williams by a citizen search committee he formed in August. Sixteen candidates initially applied for the post.

Williams will interview both candidates in the near future. He will then select one of the candidates and present this candidate to the municipal council for confirmation.

Here is a summary of each finalist:

Karl Froider, of Ashburn, Virginia.

Education: Bachelor of Social Relations / Criminal Justice and Political Science from Cheyney State University; Masters in Human Resource Development and Training from Seton Hall University.

Professional experience

  • Thirty-two years of experience in career leadership and professional investigation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States Department of Justice.
  • Special Agent in charge of the DEA Field Division office in Washington, DC from February 2013 to May 2018. In this role, Colder led all DEA operations in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
  • Deputy Chief Inspector of the DEA Headquarters Inspections Division, Office of Professional Accountability, from April 2009 to February 2012. While in this position, Colder led all domestic and foreign operations of the DEA program. DEA internal administrative and criminal matters.
  • President of Colder Allied Consulting, LLC, from May 2018 to present. Colder provides professional, advisory, consultancy and SME services, with a specialization in program delivery and information management support, to a variety of private companies.
  • Public schools in Loudon County, Va., August 2020-present. Colder is a teacher / instructor in the administration of justice sequence at Monroe Advanced Technical Academy, preparing students for entry-level employment in the law enforcement and criminal justice system as well as the entry into higher education institutions in the related fields of criminal justice, policy science and law.

Phil watkins, from Proctorville, Ohio

Education: Bachelor of Criminal Justice from Marshall University.

Professional experience

  • Sworn officer in the Huntington Police Department for 22 years.
  • Deputy Commanding Officer of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations since April 2020. In this role, Lt. Watkins manages three Detective Units responsible for investigating violent crimes, family crimes / minors / sexual assault and property crimes .
  • Deputy Commander of the Administrative Office from July 2017 to March 2020. Lt. Watkins partnered with the Office Commander, Chief of Police and the Town of Huntington Finance Department to manage the HPD budget. In this role, Watkins has also been an active member of the Compass Advisory Team in pursuit of its mission to change the local and national approach to building resilience and a growth mindset regarding the stress experienced by early adopters. responders following exposure to critical incidents.
  • Patrol office commander / supervisor (evening and night shifts) from January 2016 to July 2017.
  • Office of Professional Standards, April 2012-December 2015.
  • Detective at the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, from April 2001 to June 2002 and from March 2003 to April 2012; Patrol officer, October 1998 to April 2001.

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