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City’s search for new police chief continues

By Matt Montgomery

The search for a new police chief to replace newly-retired Alex Oblein continues for the City of Piedmont.

As of right now, Piedmont Police Captain Sterling Markel will serve as interim police chief until the city fills the position.

After Oblein abruptly submitted his notice of intent to retire to city manager Jim Crosby last month, the search began.

The posting for the position closed last Friday, and as of this past Tuesday the city went through the applications.

Crosby said the city will start by narrowing their search to an even number like 10 or 12.

Then a committee comprised of Piedmont Mayor Valerie Thomerson, Piedmont Mayor Pro Tem Charles Coffman and City of Piedmont Executive Administrative Assistant Nancy Armstrong will then interview the proposed candidates.

They will then recommend between three and five candidates. After those candidates have been recommended, Crosby and Piedmont City Councilmen Donnie Robinson and Bobby Williamson will serve as the next interview committee. Finally, Crosby will interview the last two candidates and hire the one that best fits the job.

Since 2007, the City of Piedmont has seen six police chiefs come and go.
The next police chief will be the city’s seventh in seven years.
Tom Linn was Piedmont’s police chief before Oblein joined the force in 2012.

Linn resigned amid an alleged bribery scandal out of Blanchard. Captain Sterling Markel was named interim police chief in 2012 when that happened.

Linn was hired following the resignation of Jerry Koester in 2011.


  1. JT says:

    It’s probably a thankless job since you have to deal with officers writing questionable tickets that make worldwide news and apparently embezzlement as well.

  2. Clueless says:

    How do you know that it was a police officer who embezzled money?

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