Police chief search nearing completion
The search is still on for a new Baldwin City police chief, but the wait shouldn't be too much longer.
City Administrator Larry Paine said all seven finalists were interviewed Thursday, Friday and Monday. The top two or three candidates will be interviewed a second time in a couple of weeks.
"I'm pleased with out results so far," he said.
When the Signal spoke with Paine Monday morning, the seventh candidate had not been interviewed.
"We've narrowed it down to three possibilities out of the six so far," he said. "We'll have a better sense of where we are with everybody after we interview the seventh."
Paine said the city received 85 inquiries, but only 50 of those were completed applications. Two Baldwin officers applied for the opening, but were not selected as finalists. Out of the 50 applications, 10 were chosen as finalists, but three had either accepted other jobs or were not interested in the position.
The seven remaining candidates were interviewed and scored by a seven-member committee. The committee is comprised of council members George McCrary and Marilyn Pearse, school resource officer Suzanne Evinger, Baldwin resident Don Schwartz, a retired Douglas County Sheriff's Major, Baldwin resident Mike Pattrick, a Lawrence police officer, Monte Lauridsen, safety committee member, and Paine.
After six of the seven interviews, Paine said the two top candidates were tied in scoring.
"They've got different approaches on how to address the policing issues here in Baldwin," he said. "But the two approaches are complimentary. It's a matter of style."
He said at this point, both of the top two candidates would be a good choice to become the next chief of police because of their wide range of experience, which includes jobs as chiefs of police in other towns.
"They have a lot of skills and they presented themselves well," he said. "They've got the ability to meet and talk with people."
The city will do background checks on the top two or three finalists, he said, before conducting second interviews at the first of December.
He said he hopes to announce a new police chief shortly after the second interviews and have him in place around the first of the year.
"We've got seven people who could be chief of police," he said. "We've just got to focus on a couple of people who could really be a chief of police in Baldwin City."