Wrenn Deserves The Job

A Hampton Union Editorial

Hampton Union, Tuesday, November 22, 2005

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Our hope is that the Executive Council approves Hampton Police Chief Bill Wrenn as the next commissioner of the state Department of Corrections.

Wrenn has served the town well on its police force for 30 years, the last 10 as chief.

He joined the department as a part-time officer and worked his way up.

For the past 20 years he has been in management.

After he was made chief, he reorganized the command structure of the department.

More recently, he convinced the town to build a new, $6 million police station.

He is a past president and is the current Legislative Committee chairman of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.

He is well thought of by other town officials.

Town Manager James Barrington called him the best police chief with whom he has ever worked.

Selectmen Chairman Jim Workman said he is "a good leader, department head, and if he leaves it will be hard to fill his shoes."

Selectwoman Ginny Bridle-Russell said, "The state will be getting a wonderful worker and dedicated employee in Bill Wrenn."

Even the police union, with which he has had issues over the years, has been somewhat positive, at least in public, about his prospects in the Corrections post.

Nonetheless, he isn't a shoo-in.

Executive Committee member Ruth Griffin of Portsmouth has said that, even though she considers him a friend, she will vote against him because she thinks the man currently in the post is doing a good job.

The problem is that the man elected to run the state evidently does not.

Gov. John Lynch nominated Wrenn to replace current Commissioner Stephen Curry, who was appointed 16 months ago by former Gov. Craig Benson.

It also is not unusual for governors, and just about any manager, to want to have "their own people" on their teams. It's part of politics.

The problem arises when politicians seek to appoint people who are not qualified for the positions.

That is not the case here.

Wrenn is qualified. He should get the job.

- The Hampton Union