John Lilly is the new chief of police for the Alpine Police Department.

"He (Lilly) has outstanding credentials," said Mayor Don Christiansen. Lilly, a 26-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol, is a professional who can lead the department in the direction and manner it needs to go, Christiansen said.Final negotiations were completed Monday afternoon, Christiansen said, and the decision was made public at a press conference at the City Hall Tuesday morning.

Lilly was pleased to get the job but said he is not taking it as a mandate for change.

"I think they have a professional police department, and I'm not coming in to change anything," he said.

Lilly's first priority will be assigning officers to elementary and high schools for public relations work.

"I want kids to be able to come up to policemen and think of them as friends," Lilly said. The program was very successful in California, he said.

A joint committee involving Alpine and Highland, which also receives protection from the department, chose Lilly from a pool of 40 applicants.

Alpine began taking applications after Dan Jones resigned as police chief Sept. 29. The list included candidates from all over the West and as far away as Virginia, Christiansen said.

The list was reduced to eight before the committee unanimously selected Lilly, Christiansen said.

"I think any one of the eight we could have felt comfortable with" taking charge of the police department, he said. But he called Lilly's credentials "outstanding."

Lilly offers substantial management and training skills that will allow him to guide the department in the right direction, Christiansen said.

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A salary has been discussed, but neither Christiansen nor Lilly would say what it will be.

"His salary is commensurate with the size of our department and others in north Utah County," Christiansen said.

Lilly has not signed a contract but said he is tentatively scheduled to begin work Jan. 17, 1994. He is willing to stay at the post five years or more, but details have yet to be worked out, Lilly said.

Lilly retired from the California Highway Patrol a year ago and is a resident of Alpine.

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