Breaking News
More () »

4 finalists named for Celina chief of police

The four finalists will participate in an interview process on March 26. Three of the four currently serve in Texas.
Credit: iStockphoto

CELINA, Texas — Four finalists have been named in the search for the next Celina Chief of Police. The city announced the finalists Friday morning.

Three of the four finalists currently work in Texas, while one candidate works in Florida. Celina leaders said they conducted a nationwide search that included more than 60 qualified candidates. 

They narrowed their search to four people: 

  • Brad McKeone, Deputy Chief of Police, Coral Springs, Florida
  • John Cullison, Deputy Chief of Police, Irving, Texas
  • Michael Skillern, Assistant Chief of Police, Houston, Texas 
  • Ted May, Assistant Chief of Police for Methodist Hospital System, Dallas, Texas 

The city said it began the search for a new police chief in November 2020 after former chief Tony Griggs, retired in October. Allwin Barrow has been serving as interim chief of police since then.

Requirements for all finalists included having a master's degree, certification from a national police administrative school, and eight to 12 years of command and management experience in a medium to large police department.

"Choosing the individual who will lead our police department is one of the most critical hiring decisions we ever make, and each of these finalists appear to have the necessary experience and skills for leading in this growing city," said City Manager Jason Laumer. 

Below is information provided by the Celina Police Department on the four finalists: 

Brad McKeone, Deputy Chief of Police, Coral Springs, Florida: 

McKeone has served in law enforcement for over 21 years and has developed community programs, created crime prevention strategies, and helped prepare strategic plans to increase officer’s response time to emergency calls. 

Additionally, McKeone implemented a summer camp for underserved youth. He is currently the Deputy Chief of Operations in Coral Springs, Florida, and has served as acting chief on numerous occasions. 

As a finalist, McKeone stated, "I would be honored to serve as the next Police Chief for the City of Celina, as I believe this is a place that I can have an immediate and positive impact as well as the ability to raise my family in this incredible community for many years to come."

John Cullison, Deputy Chief of Police, Irving, Texas:

Cullison has 25 years of experience with the Irving Police Department. During his tenure, he served in numerous roles including Deputy Chief, Patrol Division Commander, Technical Services Division Commander, Tactical Team Commander, Criminal Investigations Sergeant, Professional Standards Sergeant, Detective, and patrol officer. He is currently the Deputy Chief of police in Irving. 

As a finalist, Cullison said, "I am confident that my experience and leadership puts me in a strong position to lead the Celina Police Department. As the Chief of Police, I will deliver exceptional police services to the City, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve the community."  

Michael Skillern, Assistant Chief of Police, Houston, Texas:

Skillern has served the Houston Police Department for 25 years. During the past 19 years, he led in a supervisor capacity and was on the department’s senior leadership team for the last nine years. As the Assistant Chief of Police for Houston, Skillern is responsible for approximately 500 employees over four divisions and two units. 

As a finalist, Skillern stated, "My career has been built on servant leadership, from the beginning as a young patrol officer to my ascension into senior management. During this time, I have operated on the principle that a police department's mission should always be to work with all community members it serves, building relationships and thereby building trust.”

Ted May, Assistant Chief of Police for Methodist Hospital System in Dallas:

May is an Army veteran with more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement. Across the span of his career, he has worked in and supervised many different areas within the department including patrol, Criminal Investigations, Internal Affairs, Special Investigations, SWAT, Communications, and Narcotics. May is the Assistant Chief of Police of the Methodist Health System in Dallas. 

As a finalist, May stated, "If selected as the new Chief of Police for the Celina Police Department, I will provide the necessary leadership, support, and oversight to the current department programs, while developing new initiatives through coalitions with the city departments and the community."  

The four finalists will participate in an interview process on March 26. There will be two separate interview panels consisting of Celina residents, local clergy members, city council members, and Celina police staff. Officials said after the interviews, the city will present the finalist to lead the department.

Before You Leave, Check This Out