Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 25, 2013

Howell named PPD acting chief

PRINCETON — A Princeton Police Department detective will serve as acting chief while he reviews concerns about the department’s operation.

Lt. Detective J.W. Howell said he became acting chief of police effective 3 p.m. Thursday. He described the changes as “administrative.”

“I was appointed acting chief by the city manager,” Howell said Friday.

Police Chief P.V. Powell was placed on administrative leave pending a review of adherence to required procedures, City Manager Elke Doom said. The action, taken after concerns were brought forth that proper protocol was not being followed by the chief of police, is standard procedure.

Protocol states the highest ranking person in the police department cannot review his or her own work, Doom said.

“It is standard procedure that you have to ask that person to go on administrative leave,” she said Friday.

Doom confirmed a second officer, Capt. Paul Hill, had submitted his retirement papers. Howell declined to speak about the changes at his department.

“I am not at liberty to discuss any personnel issues related to Powell and Hill,” Howell said.

Doom did not know when Howell’s review would be completed, but  said when it is finished “we will go from there.”

Mayor Patricia “Pat” Wilson and Vice Mayor Marshall Lytton declined to discuss the police department’s matters Friday.

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