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Police and Fire Commission starts compiling applicants for vacant Rhinelander Police Chief jobSubmitted: 10/24/2016
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Police and Fire Commission starts compiling applicants for vacant Rhinelander Police Chief job
RHINELANDER - We likely won't find out who Rhinelander's next police chief will be until early next year.  But the city is already working to replace Chief Mike Steffes.

Newswatch 12 learned earlier this month Chief Steffes is leaving Rhinelander to take a job with the Department of Justice.

Steffes beat out 34 other candidates to win the chief job in 2007.  Police and Fire Commission President Todd McEldowney expects to see dozens of new applicants this time.


"It's a credit to our process," McEldowney said. "We hired someone who is very good. And while we would like to keep all the good officers within the city of Rhinelander, we have to recognize that if we do hire good candidates there's a chance that we may lose them."

The Commission is putting together a job opening for the city finance committee to review Tuesday. McEldowney expects to get applicants from local police and sheriff's offices, state and national places, and even schools with criminal justice programs. McEldowney also wants to host a community night for applicants when the city gets down to its final choices.

"It's all about fit and it's not just the candidate, but it's the candidate's family as well," McEldowney said. We want somebody who's going to be a good leader, who's got some good management and supervisory experience, but who wants to be here."

The Commission is considering using a third-party agency to find applicants, but McEldowney hopes to keep costs for the search as low as possible.

The process could include some applicants from Rhinelander police and the Oneida County Sheriff's Office.

"We certainly want to give every opportunity for a local guy to know that if he comes up through the ranks and he is a dedicated employee of the city or county, that we are going to look at their candidacy very closely," McEldowney said.

McEldowney says the soonest he expects the city to choose a new chief would likely be in January.  The Police and Fire Commission will name an interim chief the first week of November.

Steffes' last day is November 1st.


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