GLASGOW – Glasgow officially has a new police chief with a 9-1 vote, with two absences, during Monday's Glasgow Common Council meeting.
Capt. Jennifer Arbogast became Chief Jennifer Arbogast after Mayor Harold Armstrong administered the oath of office and the former chief whose retirement formally started over the weekend, Guy Howie, pinned the badge signifying she has the No. 1 position in the department onto her uniform.
No discussion took place before the vote. Councilwoman Chasity Lowery cast the “no” vote. Council members Marna Kirkpatrick and Patrick Gaunce were absent.
The selection process for the next chief was different than a typical search process. After eight applications were submitted, seven had interviews with a search committee composed of members of the council Public Safety Committee and of the public at large. Those interviews were videorecorded, and then each employee of the department was offered the opportunity to watch the video. All the members of the combined committee and all department personnel then were asked to write the name of the person they thought should be chief. Those votes were counted Thursday, Mayor Harold Armstrong said Friday afternoon when the Glasgow Daily Times called to inquire about the results.
Lowery, whose husband retired in May from the GPD, said after the meeting that she had met with Arbogast earlier and explained that her vote was not directed at her personally, “but reflected my strong belief that the position of police chief should not be determined by an election that consisted of a majority of police department employees. I wish her nothing but the best and, as a council representative, I will continue to support the GPD.”
Arbogast said she felt very proud.
“I appreciate all the people in our community and our officers, and I look forward to continuing our great work,” she said.
Several family members and others attended the meeting to back her.
“I felt like I had a lot of supporters, and that is a blessing, and they don't know how much that meant to me to have them here,” Arbogast said.
Even before Monday's required approval of the council, she'd had several people call or text her to offer congratulations, she said.
Her first order of business is just to let things settle back down, she said.
“I've got a great bunch of officers. … I love working with the officers, and they do a great job, and I just want to say, 'Let's continue with the teamwork,'” she said. “That's what I want to see. I want to see more teamwork with us, within us, as well as with the community.”
Arbogast confirmed she is the first female chief the department has had, but “it's not about a female-male role. It's about are you going to do the job? Are you going to take care of your people? Are you going to take care of the department? Are you going to take care of the community? I don't look at it as a male-female type thing.”
Just prior to the reading of the municipal order appointing her as chief, Armstrong presented Howie with a “commendation” for his work and leadership, saying he'd told the chief he was getting him a watch without hands, because now that he's retired, he won't care what time it is.
Howie expressed gratitude to the mayor and council for their support.
“I've been doing this job in civilian life for 39 1/2 years,” he said, “and there's somebody else in this room that needs recognition for putting up with me for that all that time, and that's my wife,” he said, nodding toward Debbie Howie, who was in the audience.
In other business, the council unanimously approved the following:
• Second reading of an ordinance rezoning approximately 4.766 acres in the vicinity behind Shoney's Restaurant from general business to light industrial for a planned self-storage business;
• Second reading of an interlocal agreement regarding the Barren County Economic Authority, which has now also been approved by the Park City Commission and Cave City Council, but still has to be approved by Barren County Fiscal Court, which meets July 16, and state officials;
• First reading of an ordinance authorizing the organization of a standing committee to be known as the Entertain Glasgow Committee; and
• A resolution authorizing disposal of GPD surplus items.