The hunt for the new Chief of Police is nearing its conclusion.
After 24 years, Chief of Police Jonathan Kelley retired in late June 2014. Missouri Western’s Risk Manager, Tim Kissock, took over as interim police chief while a committee was put together to find a replacement.
“There’s a committee that has been going through the résumés, and they did phone interviews, and it was narrowed down to a couple of candidates,” Kissock said.
The two candidates, Ken Maybery and Ray Ottman, were brought onto campus to meet a variety of people and organizations that they may be working with in the future. Cale Fessler, vice president for financial planning and administration, said that both candidates were brought onto campus for a full day of events.
“We tried to have a pretty comprehensive, well-rounded interview day, and it was a pretty full day for both candidates,” Fessler said.
Kissock confirmed this as he outlined what both Maybery and Ottman went through on their visit to Missouri Western.
“As part of that interview process, they met with the police chief chain of command, if you will, the vice president of financial planning and with the president,” Kissock said. “They met with the committee face-to-face; they also met with several student groups, and they also did a public presentation where people were allowed to ask questions and submit their evaluations of what they thought of the candidate. The candidates also met with the other directors in the financial planning and administration department as part of the interview process.”
According to Kissock, the committee in charge of gathering information and evaluations is looking to make sure that each candidate has the proper experience for the job.
“(We’re looking for) law enforcement experience, preferably campus law enforcement experience; we’re looking for somebody that has some perspective on dealing with a student environment,” Kissock said. “But, first and foremost, we’re looking for somebody that we feel can keep the campus safe.”
But it’s not the committee’s job to make the end decision. According to Kissock, the committee’s job is to outline the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate while taking into account the evaluations of those who attended the public presentation.
Fessler believes that there is still some work to be done regarding which candidate will actually be chosen.
“We’re still doing some reference checking on both of them, compiling all of the different levels of feedback from the various meetings and the committee,” Fessler said. “We’ve not gotten to the point where we’ve made an offer yet.”
Kissock agreed that there are still a few things that need to be done, and though he hopes that a decision will be reached soon, he knows that the process of choosing the best candidate for the position is important.
“The sooner the better,” Kissock said of filling the chief of police position. “We have two good candidates; we wouldn’t have brought them on if we didn’t. We will keep going until we find the right fit for the job. The primary goal is finding the right person.”