Ben Hadley was sworn in as the new Chief of Police in Mission Wednesday night. Hadley has been a member of the Mission Police Department since 1997.
The council also made a series of changes that clarify lines of authority, including that of the chief. Previously, the chief of police ran the department “under the direction of the mayor.” The ordinance approved Wednesday says the chief will report to the city administrator.
Another change in police department procedure gives the city administrator the authority to appoint an acting chief in the case of a vacancy. The senior officer in rank had automatically taken over the department until the change.
The city administrator now clearly has the sole supervisory responsibility over all city employees. The ordinance revisions say that the administrator will recommend the hiring of all department heads to the city council and that the administrator has the power to hire and remove all subordinate employees of the city, subject to the personnel policies of the city. Department head recommendations had been made to the council by the administrator and mayor. The updated personnel policies say the administrator will “advise the Governing Body of the pending termination of Department Heads, appointed officials or Board and Commission members.
The mayor will appoint, with council consent, the city administrator, treasurer, judge and judge pro tem. The city administrator “will have the authority to hire all other employees” under the ordinance. The city administrator can be removed from office by a majority vote of the council when it is recommended by the mayor and two members of the council. The council alone can also remove the administrator with a super majority vote.
The council has been discussing changes to the lines of authority and personnel policies for several months. One change gave the council the power to elect its own committee chairs. Wednesday, it named Amy Miller chair of the finance and administration committee and Steven Lucas as chair of community development.