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Huntington chief search down to 2 finalists

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — There are two finalists for the job of police chief in Huntington.

Karl Colder

Mayor Steve Williams will soon interview Karl Colder of Ashburn, Va., and Huntington Police Lt. Phil Watkins.

Colder has 32 years of experience with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), holding numerous leadership and investigative roles. He headed up the DEA’s efforts in West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia from 2013 to 2018. He currently has a consulting business.

Watkins has been with the HPD for 22 years. He’s currently the Assistant Commander of Criminal Investigations Bureau, managing the department’s detectives.

The finalists were chosen by a citizen-based search committee. There were 16 original candidates for the job.

Williams will interview both finalists and forward his choice to city council for confirmation.

Lt. Phil Watkins

Former Chief Ray Cornwell announced his retirement in early June after 25 years of public service for the city. Police Capt. Eric Corder was then named interim police chief on June 22.

The application period for the new chief ended Aug. 6.

Williams named the 12-member citizen-based search committee in mid-August.

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