Former Prescott Police Chief Kabbel to Consult on Public Safety Study

PRESCOTT, Arizona – A former Prescott Police Chief and recent finalist for the job of Prescott Fire Chief is back on the City of Prescott payroll on a temporary/part-time basis.

Deputy City Manager Alison Zelms reported on Tuesday that the city recently hired former Police Chief Mike Kabbel to help deal with the pending International City/County Management Association (ICMA) analysis on the city’s fire and police departments.

“He will be working with us on a temporary basis,” Zelms said, adding that Kabbel would help to facilitate the recommendations from the ICMA’s public safety analysis.

“It’s going to require some dialogue,” Zelms said of the process that will likely come after the release of the final analysis.

In November 2013, the Prescott City Council approved an $87,900 contract with the ICMA to conduct a comprehensive study on the city’s public safety services.

While the ICMA initially expected the analysis to take three to four months to complete, the city has yet to receive the final document, Zelms said.

In recent months, city officials had estimated that the report would be ready for release by late May/early June. But Zelms said the project has experienced some delays, and the final report is now expected by late this month.

Meanwhile, Kabbel already is working on the draft data that has been produced, Zelms said.

Prescott Human Resources Director Mary Jacobsen said Tuesday that Kabbel had so far worked several hours since being hired earlier this month.

Kabbel’s rate of pay will be $50 per hour, Jacobsen said, and he is expected to work an average of about 20 hours per week.

“He will be doing project management,” Jacobsen said. “His hours will vary, depending on the project. The bulk of the work will be implementation of the ICMA recommendations.”

The nature of those recommendations is still to be determined, Jacobsen added. “It depends on what the council wants to move forward with,” she said, adding that the city did not set an ending date for Kabbel’s employment.

The city did not advertise for the job, Jacobsen said, because it is a temporary position and did not require posting.

“We know his organizational skills,” Jacobsen said of Kabbel, who spent 22 years with the Prescott Police Department and served as chief from 2009 to 2012.

Earlier this spring, the city announced that Kabbel was one of two finalists for the Prescott Fire Chief job. Although the city ultimately chose the other finalist, Dennis Light, as its new fire chief, Jacobsen said Kabbel’s attributes were apparent during the process.

“He knows all of the players, and he knows the (city) structure,” she said.

While talking with other communities that have under gone analyses by the ICMA, Jacobsen said, “They all recommended” that a project manager be on board to help deal with the report’s recommendations.

Kabbel was confident Tuesday that his background would be helpful to the process.

“I bring 29 years of public safety experience to this type of a project,” said Kabbel, who served in the U.S. Air Force as a security officer and supervisor, as well as in law enforcement for ASU, before taking on his first job with the City of Prescott in 1990.

“I am very familiar with the ICMA, and I feel like I can help the city with the implementation,” Kabbel said.

Kabbel, who listed health concerns as one of the reasons for his retirement in 2012, said this week that his health is good, and that he had put the medical issues behind him.

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