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Chief of Police
Carlisle, Pennsylvania


The Position

The Borough of Carlisle’s next Police Chief has an opportunity to lead an accredited department in a new era after the community’s passage of a Home Rule Charter that became effective January 1, 2016. The Chief of Police will be hired by and reports to the Borough Manager. The Chief serves as a member of the Borough’s management team along with five other department directors.
The Police Department is the largest department within the Borough, with a 2016 operating budget of $3,952,861. The Department has 37 FTEs. In addition to the Chief, the staffing complement includes:

  • One lieutenant
  • Four officers-in-charge
  • Four detectives
  • Four community policing/tactical unit officers
  • Five sergeants
  • Eight patrol officers
  • Four corporals

The Carlisle Borough Police Department has three divisions: Administration, Criminal Investigations, and Patrol. The Department also manages various special programs, such as the Special Response Team, K-9 Program, and Bike Patrol Program, as well as community policing, DARE, and Motor Carrier Safety Enforcement. The Borough participates in a regionally-funded Drug Task Force. Emergency dispatching services are provided by the Cumberland County Emergency 911 Center.

The Carlisle Police Department achieved accredited status on July 13, 2011 by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. Approximately 100 departments out of Pennsylvania’s 1,100 law enforcement agencies achieve accreditation, which indicates that the department meets nationally accepted law enforcement standards. Law enforcement accreditation ensures the department adheres to the highest national and state standards for law enforcement professionalism, reduces the agency risk and exposure to liability, enhances accountability, and increases employee input, interaction, and confidence in the agency.

The Organization

The Borough of Carlisle operates under the “Council-Manager” form of government. Under this form, Borough Council appoints a full-time professional municipal manager to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Borough.
Borough Council is the legislative body of the Borough, comprised of a Mayor and six councilmembers, each elected at large for four-year overlapping terms. The Mayor serves as the chair of the public safety committee.
The Borough became a Home Rule municipality on January 1, 2016. While the Mayor previously had responsibility for the oversight of the Police Department, the Borough Manager now does. As such, the Police Chief will be appointed by and report to the Borough Manager.

The Borough’s total operating budget is about $32 million, which includes five funds: General, Water, Sewer, Parking, and Solid Waste funds. The General fund is $11.8 million and the total capital budget is $10.3 million. The Borough has 115 FTEs.

In a December 2015 survey, Carlisle residents identified their top 10 priorities. Ensuring public safety and reducing crime were in the top three of the priorities.


Minimum requirements for this position are a bachelor’s degree, 10 years of law enforcement experience, and five years of supervisory/command staff experience. Preferred qualifications are a master’s degree, graduation from the FBI National Academy or equivalent, and demonstrated experience with community policing and effective labor relations. Relocation to within the Borough limits is required for the Police Chief after appointment.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal Police Chief will demonstrate the highest level of integrity, be able to lead in a diverse community, and work effectively to continuously improve police operations and public safety. The candidate will be an approachable, confident communicator with multiple audiences, and be visible in the community. The ideal candidate will earn the respect of his/her staff, elected officials and Borough management, members of the public, and colleagues in the law enforcement community. The ideal candidate will maintain trust between the police department and the community through transparency and two-way communication, understanding that being a good listener is as important as being an effective communicator. The next chief will combine community policing, effective use of technology, and partnering with other community and law enforcement organizations to provide the best services for residents and visitors to the Borough. The ideal Police Chief will be compassionate and focused on community safety. The candidate will be apolitical, enforcing the law and departmental policies consistently. The next Police Chief will be knowledgeable about best practices in law enforcement and understand how to apply those practices uniquely to the Borough of Carlisle. The ideal candidate will be a strong, confident leader who has experienced the issues faced by the officers on the street and can prepare both the community and the department for the evolving nature of effective policing. The Borough’s Police Chief will actively engage the command, officers, and civilian staff in identifying how to achieve the department’s vision and mission and help the Borough achieve its goals.

The Community

The Borough of Carlisle is located in picturesque south-central Pennsylvania in Cumberland County, about 18 miles southwest of Harrisburg, and has an area of approximately 5 square miles. The Borough, which was established in 1751, serves as the County seat and is proud to be home to several institutions of higher education:

  • Dickinson College, a four-year college chartered in 1783 and one of the oldest private liberal arts colleges in the nation with a student population of 2,400.
  • Penn State University Dickinson School of Law, founded in 1834 and the oldest law school in the Commonwealth and the fifth oldest in the nation. In 2000, the Law School merged with Pennsylvania State University, one of the country’s most prestigious research universities.
  • The U.S. Army War College, a premier advanced training facility for the U. S. Army.

At the intersection of Interstate 81 and the PA Turnpike, Carlisle is a manageable drive or train ride from most major East Coast cities, like New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, and it’s an hour (or less) away from Hershey, Gettysburg, Lancaster, Harrisburg, and York.

Carlisle is one of Pennsylvania’s most treasured historic communities. Its downtown boasts unique architecture, quaint shops, and tree-lined streets that were once strolled by the likes of President George Washington, Declaration of Independence signer James Wilson, Battle of Monmouth heroine “Molly Pitcher,” and Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Thorpe.

Civic pride appears throughout Carlisle’s well-maintained community. Restored homes, manicured lawns, and flower boxes reflect the pride of homeownership where people of all economic backgrounds have achieved the “American Dream” through affordable housing and high employment standards. Citizens continually volunteer and support local programs involving the elderly, youth, and disenfranchised.

While the Borough is essentially built out, its economy is well diversified. Its businesses manufacture everything from steel castings to apparel to food products. It also counts warehousing, transportation, and employment services among its employers. The Borough is looking to its future through its Urban Redevelopment Plan. Through implementation of the plan over the course of five to seven years, the Borough will transform and revitalize approximately 50 acres of land just outside its downtown. This may include the creation of walkable, mixed-use infill redevelopment with residential, commercial, and possibly light industrial uses. Once completed, the vision for the community will include an expanded, vibrant downtown with increased retail opportunity, increased green space, and housing for all income groups and ages.

For those looking for passive and active recreation opportunities, there are 181 acres of park land and open space in Carlisle Borough. Recreational facilities include:

  • 18 parks
  • An outdoor swimming pool
  • An outdoor amphitheater
  • A multi-purpose cabin
  • A multi-purpose community center
  • A dog park operated by the Carlisle Area Dog Park Association
  • A 13-mile network of trails for walking, running, and biking

The Borough is proud to have been recognized for so many of its services and programs.

  • Carlisle has received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award since 2014 and the GFOA Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting since 2009.
    In 2016, Carlisle was named as one of America’s strongest towns (#1) by
  • In 2015, Carlisle was honored by the number five ranking in the category of Best Places for Walking and Biking by Money Magazine. The Borough’s West End Trail Connection is underway, which will link to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail, Road Diet, and the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail, connecting Carlisle to the 9.5-mile path, perfect for walking, jogging, bicycling, and horseback riding. It was also named as one the Top Best Small Towns (#16) by Livability.
  • In 2013, the Borough received the 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania prestigious Community Transportation Excellence Award for its Smart Transportation Community Project. The Borough’s Smart Transportation Community Project included a Road Diet and Trail Network Connections.
  • In 2012, the Borough of Carlisle was recognized by America’s Promise Alliance as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People.
  • For five consecutive years from 2010-2014, the Borough received the Partnership for Safe Water Excellence in Water Treatment Award. The Excellence Award is the highest level of Partnership awards. It celebrates achieving the most rigorous of requirements while striving for full system optimization. The Borough anticipates it will continue to annually receive that recognition.

The racial makeup and ethnicity of the Borough as of the 2010 Census is illustrated in the following table.

Race/Ethnicity  Percentage
White 88.93%
African American 6.82%
Native American 0.14%
Asian 1.60%
Pacific Islander 0.92%
Other races 0.71%
Two or more races 1.69%
Hispanic or Latino 1.96%

Vision Statement

Carlisle: a premier town with a strong sense of community identity and an excellent quality of life, which makes it a superb place to live, learn, work, visit, shop, and play.

  • A Balanced Community: A small town in spirit and a small city in amenities. The historic and quaint charm of the past centuries, evolving to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Preserving our natural resources while promoting smart growth.
  • Forward looking and responsible in community and economic development.
  • A caring and engaged community, with unity in diversity.

Mission Statement

The citizens of Carlisle will continually strive to make Carlisle an even greater place in which to live, work, learn, and play. These efforts will emphasize an active downtown, strong neighborhoods, an attractive living environment, preservation of historic buildings, economic growth, high-quality life-long education, a strong sense of community, citizen involvement.


The hiring salary range is expected to be $90,000 to $110,000, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefit package.

How to Apply

This position has been filled and is no longer available.

Thank you for your interest.

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Apply online at and include a single document with cover letter, resume with salary history, and list of 3-5 professional references (submit one Word or PDF document please). Open until filled with first review of applications July 8, 2016. Just click the button to get started.


Questions should be directed to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 240-832-1778.

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