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Politics & Government

Dover names its first African American police chief

Dover Police Department

Dover has named its first African American police chief.

The city council voted Thursday night to make Deputy Chief Martin Mailey the new head of the city’s police department.

City Councilman Fred Neil said race had nothing to do with the decision.   

“The fact that he’s black doesn’t mean anything to me. I looked at him as the best candidate brought forth and based on my experience working with him for the past two years.”

34 people applied for the police chief position and Mailey was selected from six finalists.

He has a calm demeanor and has helped the department improve relationships with minority communities, according to Neil.

"Mailey engages with community members and understands their needs," he said.     

Councilman Roy Sudler Jr. had been critical of the process used for choosing a new police chief. But had only positive  things to say after Mailey's approval. 

"Dover is on the move people and now is the time to put aside whatever differences we may have had with each other during this process and continue to work together for the best interest of this great city," he said via email.

The new chief has been with the Dover Police Department for nearly 24 years and has also served as a corrections officer. He originally hails from New York.    

Former Police Chief Paul Bernat announced his retirement December 20, 2016.  

Since then, Mailey has been serving as the interim chief. 

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