Roswell Police Chief Alfonso Solis announced his selection for position of deputy chief on Tuesday, Philip A. Smith Jr., 47, of Atkinson, N.H.
The city received seven applications in-house and five applications from outside of Roswell, two of which were from New Mexico. Solis said he chose Smith because of his credentials and his educational background.
“He’s retired from the police in Salem, N.H. He was police chief in Alton,” said Solis.
Smith has 25 years of experience with law enforcement. He started as a patrol officer in Salem, N.H., and worked his way up from police lieutenant to patrol shift commander. In 2007, Smith became chief of police in Alton, N.H., where he stayed for two years.
Currently, Smith is the town administrator, or chief administrative officer, for the town of Atkinson, which entails assisting the board of selectmen, or elected city officials, in managing town affairs. In addition he has worked as an educator or adjunct instructor in criminal justice and administration at Hesser (Kaplan) College in Manchester, N.H.
Smith’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in social science from Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, N.J., and a Master of Science in criminal justice from Boston University. He is currently working on a doctorate in executive leadership at Mountain State University in Virginia, after having received a certificate in executive leadership from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Solis said, “He shares the same philosophy as I do. He cares about his people, and I felt we’d make a good team.”
Solis noted that he received good references from the current chief in Alton, who had previously competed for the position of chief against Smith. “When you can win over the competition that speaks well of you,” he said.
The new deputy chief will start in 30 days. “He’s got a house he has to sell and he wanted to give adequate notice to Atkinson, the city where he’s administrator.”
Solis also liked Smith’s involvement in the community where he lives. He coaches amateur wrestling, softball and baseball.
Former RPD Deputy Police Chief Jody L. Scifres left the department in mid-July to be the police chief for Lubbock, Texas, Independent School District.