Council to interview police chief finalists
The Tonganoxie City Council will have a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to interview two finalists for the city’s next chief of police.
The decision came after four, 30-minute executive sessions at Monday’s city council meeting.
A search committee of City Administrator Mike Yanez, Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson, Leavenworth County Undersheriff Ron Cranor, Tonganoxie resident and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Robert Bieneicki and USD 232 Board of Education Member Dan Hopkins recommended the two finalists. Butch Rogers, city public works director, attended one meeting of the committee before going on vacation and forwarded his recommendations.
“When we put the committee together, I thought it was good process,” Councilwoman Paula Crook said. “I’m willing to accept their recommendations. I wouldn’t mind interviewing these candidates.”
The search committee interviewed four of the 20 applicants the city received for the position, Yanez said.
There were about 10 candidates meriting serious attention among the applicants and five worthy of interviews, Yanez said. One of the worthy candidates called to remove himself from consideration before an interview was scheduled, Yanez aid.
In response to a question from Councilman Jim Truesdell, Yanez said the consensus of the committee was to “thin the herd” based on each of the candidate’s job experience, record of job advancement and education.
The committee didn’t use a scoring system as a whole, although some individual members did score candidates, Yanez said.
“We came to a consensus these would be the ones we passed on to the council,” he said.
The interviews were scheduled for Thursday. The soonest the council could make a decision on a new chief would be its Sept. 13 meeting.
The council agreed the city should start advertising for a full-time police officer with a recent resignation from the force, although there was sentiment the new chief should be involved in the process.
Police Chief Kenny Carpenter advised against delaying the process, saying it usually takes about six weeks to fill an opening