After being with the City of River Falls for 37 years and serving as Chief of Police for 24 years, Chief of Police Roger Leque is retiring on October 9th. The City and the Police and Fire Commission are currently in the process of hiring a new Chief of Police.
The first step of the hiring process for a new Chief of Police was for the City’s Human Resources Director, Karen Bergstrom, to present the executive recruitment firms that would be helping with the search for the new Chief of Police to the Police and Fire Commission. The Police and Fire Commission have the final hiring authority for the new Chief of Police. The Commission narrowed down the executive recruitment firm selections and interviewed two separate firms. GovHR USA is the consulting firm that was selected to help the City and Commission through the hiring process.
After the executive recruitment firm was selected, the next step was for the Police and Fire Commission to create a stakeholder group including both internal City staff members and external members from the community. Internal staff members include the City Administrator, the Mayor, and Police Sergeants while some of the external members include representatives from the St. Croix and Pierce County Sherriff’s department, the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, the River Falls School District, the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and more. GovHR USA interviewed the stakeholder group once it was established. During these interviews, the consultants asked questions such as what the community is looking for in a new Chief of Police and what skills, abilities, and experience the new Chief needs.
An announcement for the Chief of Police position was released to local newspapers and was placed on online employment sites. After the application deadline expired, GovHR USA narrowed the field down to 12 applicants based on the needs and wants of our community. The Chief of Police search committee is currently discussing the 12 applicants and are narrowing down the field even more for in person interviews. The in person interviews, which will take place in late September, will include questioning from panels. The pre-selected panels will include both internal staff members and external community members.
The City of River Falls will have a new Chief of Police sometime in October and I am confident that the Police and Fire Commission will decide on a truly great and competent person to serve as the next River Falls Chief of Police.
Mayor Dan Toland