PA police chief candidate withdraws, leaving four

Published 2:17 pm Saturday, September 10, 2016

One of five candidates for the Port Arthur Police Chief’s position has withdrawn his name from the pot.

Henry Porretto, who is currently interim chief of Mathis, Texas, contacted city officials on Saturday to withdraw his name, City Manager Brian McDougal said.

McDougal said Porretto did not give a reason for dropping out of the pool of candidates.

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Porretto began work as interim chief in Mathis, which is about 30-miles west of Corpus Christi, in December 2015. He retired from the Galveston Police Department following an employee complaint and investigation prior to that, according to information from The Galveston County Daily News.

The public will have a chance to meet the remaining candidates — Arthur Barclay, Jesus Campa, Jeff Fant and Patrick Melvin at a meet and greet set for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 at The Department Club, 1924 Lakeshore Drive.

The four remaining candidates come from different backgrounds and none are local.

Barclay is deputy chief at the Fort Worth Police Department, Campa is police chief of Marshall, Texas, Fant is assistant chief of police in San Angelo, and Melvin is former police chief of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community near Phoenix, Arizona.

McDougal said he is pleased with the candidate pool and their qualifications and experience. There were 46 initial candidates, some of which were local. During the search process the candidate list as whittled down leaving the remaining candidates.





Port Arthur’s search for a new police chief began when Strategic Government Resources, the firm hired to help find the new police chief, posted the opening on May 16.

According to the company’s Web site, the selected candidate should have a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of increasing responsibility at a senior level department command/administrative level such as assistant chief, deputy chief, or captain, among other qualifications including experience with collective bargaining and union contracts, according to an archive story that ran in The Port Arthur News.

Longtime Port Arthur Police Chief Mark Blanton announced his retirement in December 2015 and his last official day was to be Dec. 31, 2015. He agreed to stay on in the police chief role as a temporary position until a new chief was hired. He stayed on until May 2016.

Weldon Dunlap, retired assistant chief for Beaumont Police Department, was brought in as interim chief in Port Arthur upon Blanton’s departure.

Mary Meaux: 409-721-2429

Twitter: @MaryMeauxPANews