SILVER LAKE — Police Lt. Jamie Norris is the choice of a village search committee to become the next Silver Lake Police Chief. Mayor Bernie Hovey announced the panel’s recommendation Tuesday morning.

Action to promote Norris to the post is anticipated at Village Council’s Nov. 19 meeting. The search committee had considered two internal candidates to succeed Chief John Conley, Norris and Lt. Steve Justice. Norris has been employed as a police officer with the village for 22 years, and Justice, 16 years. 

“I’m very honored and appreciate the selection,” said Norris, who noted that Justice was “a great candidate.”

Norris added he did not want to offer any further comments until Council voted on his appointment.

If the selection of Norris is approved by Council, his first day as chief will be Jan. 23, 2019, according to Hovey.

Conley plans to step down from the post on Jan. 22, 2019, after having served as the village police chief for eight years. 

Hovey said both Norris and Justice were “outstanding” candidates, and noted choosing between the longtime members of the department was a “tough decision.” A search committee consisting of Hovey, Village Council Vice President Bill Church (At Large), Council member Therese Dunphy (District B) and resident Fred Zuch interviewed both Norris and Justice on Oct. 25.

“Both candidates had excellent credentials, excellent interviews,” said Hovey. “I could not have gone wrong with either one.” 

Hovey said Norris’ interview answers were “so complete and just so thorough, and his commitment to the village was very obvious.” The mayor added that Norris’ longer time of service with the village and his degree in criminal justice studies “tilted” the committee toward selecting him.

As a detective, Norris has worked with “virtually all” of the nearby police departments on almost a daily basis, said Hovey.

Hovey also praised Justice, noting he is “so well-known and so well-liked in the village [with a] very, very strong commitment to the kids in the village.”

The mayor noted the committee asked both men how they would respond if they were not selected for the job.

“Both of them said that their commitment is to the village and they would continue to serve the village as well as they have in the past,” said Hovey.

Village Clerk-Treasurer Sean Housley said Norris currently earns $59,214 per year, but did not have information on what Norris’ new annual salary would be as chief.

Conley currently earns $75,342 per year.

Hovey said he will speak with Norris during the next few weeks about who would fill the vacancy in the detective bureau that will occur once Norris ascends to the chief’s role. Norris’ upcoming promotion means that a lieutenant’s position will also need to be filled and Hovey noted he hoped someone within the department would possess the qualifications to step into that role.

Editor’s note: Reporter Ellin Walsh contributed to this story.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.