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Four undergo interview process for Hastings Police chief
It's been nearly 14 years since the city Hastings has had to hire a new police chief. Fast forward to today. A committee is in the key stages of that search.
Four candidates were interviewed and introduced to the community this week.
That interview process began Monday with two of the candidates. The other two will be interviewed Tuesday. But what does the process of naming a new chief entail?
"It's one of the more visible appointments that I think a mayor and a council make during their tenure," said Dan Hoins.
For the first time since 1998, the City of Hastings is on the search for a new police chief.
"It doesn't happen often and it's certainly a component of public safety that touches everybody's lives every day," Hoins said.
"We went through civil service, they widdled down the 30 resumes we had down to four of the candidates we felt for the position," said Mayor Vern Powers.
Those candidates include Captains Adam Story and Gene Boner of Hastings PD, Captain Peter Kortum of the Grand Island Police Department and Chief B.J Wilkinson of the Litchfield, Illinois Police Department.
"The group will select the best choice we think will be the best fit for the city. That will be presented on to me than I will present that to the Hastings City Council for a selection and we will vote," said Powers.
But before a selection can happen, the candidates have to go through an interview process.
"We'll spend about an hour or two asking them questions. We've got a lot of questions we've developed for them," Powers said.
The committee, which is made of up the mayor, city administrator, city council members and representatives from the hospital and schools, will make sure the right candidates fit the mold of what their looking for.
"We don't want them rousting people for no reason, we want them to help us, protect us if we need something done, we want it done to protect our community," said Powers.
Dan Hoins, a former police chief himself, says it's important to have someone that gets involved in the community.
"It seems it will be well served by someone who views now only themselves as a individual as part of the community, but the entire department and mandates and promotes that culture," said Hoins.
Once the formal interview process it over, and discussions on which candidate would be the best fit, a new chief could be named within a few weeks and Mayor Powers says should start at the beginning of the year.
"These four we felt were the best fit for all that," said Powers.
Tuesday night on News 5, meet the four candidates vying for the chief position and find out what changes they would like to see for the city and why they would be the best man for the job.
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