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Stephen Monticelli resigns as Harrisonburg Police Chief

Image from WHSV archive video in 2012 when Monticelli was sworn in.
Image from WHSV archive video in 2012 when Monticelli was sworn in.(WHSV)
Published: Aug. 23, 2017 at 10:53 AM EDT
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UPDATE (Aug. 30):

Harrisonburg Police Chief Stephen Monticelli, who announced earlier this month that he is resigning, will not be taking the position as police chief in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Monticelli will step down from Harrisonburg as of December 1 after five years serving the city; next, he wants to be closer to his family in the Midwest.

He initially was listed as a top candidate for police chief of Lawrence, Kansas, and then as a candidate for a similar position in Kirkwood.

But on Wednesday, the City of Kirkwood announced their new police chief will be an officer who's been with the department since 1987.

Monticelli's next steps were not immediately clear.

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Harrisonburg Police Chief Stephen Monticelli will step down from his post as of December 1, 2017.

The City of Harrisonburg announced his plans to resign with a press release Wednesday morning.

This comes after WHSV

that Monticelli had been one of the top four candidates for a police chief job in Lawrence, Kansas. But that position was given to Gregory Burns, Jr., a candidate from Kentucky.

Monticelli is now listed as one of five candidates for a job in Kirkwood, Missouri. But that department tells WHSV they will not make a final decision until around mid-September.

He was sworn in as Harrisonburg's police chief in 2012, following the retirement of Don Harper.

Now, he says he wants to be closer to his family in the Midwest.

“In searching for other career opportunities, I wanted to ensure that the process did not create unnecessary distractions or interfere with the operations of the Harrisonburg Police Department," Monticelli said in a prepared statement.

“We appreciate Chief Monticelli’s service to the city and the progressive changes he has implemented during his time here, along with his leadership of the department through both positive and difficult circumstances. I completely understand his desire to be closer to family and while I regret his departure, I wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said City Manager Kurt Hodgen.

According to Harrisonburg spokeswoman Mary-Hope Vass, Hodgen will appoint an acting police chief to take Monticelli's place by the end of October.

Hodgen himself is retiring as City Manager at the end of October, so the hiring process for the next chief of police can not begin until a new city manager has also been appointed by Harrisonburg City Council.

“Although there will be a short delay in the hiring process for the next chief of police, we are confident that the forward momentum of the department will continue,” explained Mayor Deanna Reed. “It is important as well as appropriate that the next city manager has the opportunity to lead the search for this position.”

Once the hiring process has begun for the next chief of police, more information will be released from Harrisonburg.