Town picks Sheriff’s Office major to lead police agency

Kerry L. Magalis II

FRONT ROYAL – Another veteran officer with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office is taking over the town’s police department.

Town Manager Joseph E. Waltz announced Monday that he appointed Kerry L. “Kahle” Magalis II as chief of police for Front Royal. Magalis assumes the role effective Oct. 1. Magalis works as a major in the Sheriff’s Office.

Magalis succeeds Norman Shiflett, who retired from the police department May 1. Shiflett’s retirement came after working almost 34 years in law enforcement. He left the Warren County Sheriff’s Office after 28 years to assume the post of Front Royal police chief in September 2012.

Magalis, a lifelong resident of Warren County, has lived with his family in Front Royal since 2003. Magalis began working with the Sheriff’s Office in 1998.

Warren County Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron joked Monday afternoon about the town taking another ranking officer from his agency.

“We’re very proud of Kahle and he’s more than capable of doing that job,” McEathron said. “I look for good things to come out of it and town police should be very proud to have him.”

Magalis is the third officer during McEathron’s tenure to make the shift from the county agency to the town police department, the sheriff said.

“It’s a great reflection on our office but all of them have done a great job,” McEathron said, adding that to have one of his own take over the police department “helps build the relationships even more.”

The town received dozens of applications for the position during two searches. Representatives with law enforcement and local government participated in the search and interviews. Ultimately the responsibility fell to Waltz to make the appointment.

“Throughout the interview process, Mr. Magalis has been found to be a clear communicator who understands the importance of community policing,” Waltz stated. “Mr. Magalis brings leadership, respect, professionalism and dedication to the citizens of our community.”