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Search for new police chief in progress
Committee first looking internally
GBPD office web
The process of replacing former Police Chief Clifton Couch is underway, Interim Great Bend Manager George Kolb told the City Council Monday night. - photo by Tribune file photo

In other business, the Great Bend City Council:
• Interim City Administrator George Kolb reported on the agreed-upon procedures audit investigating allegations of impropriety and improper payments made with city funds. No improprieties were found and, upon Kolb’s recommendation, no further action was taken.
• Approved a resolution authorizing and directing the issuance, sale and delivery of $832,000 in general obligation temporary notes to pay for the expansion of Eighth Street between Grant and McKinley.
City Attorney Bob Suelter said this also provides for the levy and collection of an annual tax for the purpose of paying the principal and interest on the notes as they become due; making certain covenants and agreements to provide for the payment and security; and authorizing certain other documents and actions connected.
The notes will be handled by Farmers Bank and Trust at an annual interest rate of 1.64 percent. Only the property owners whose property touches the street expansion will pay for the improvements.
• Approved setting the cost share for the city health insurance for 2018 at the same rates as 2017 (83 percent paid by the city and 17 percent by employee). There are two new additional tiers (employee/child and employee/spouse). The city’s rates are increasing by approximately 16 percent. Since we had multiple years where our rates decreased and we did not change the employees’ or employers cost to reflect the decrease, the city has built up a reserve in our self-insured account, said City Clerk/Finance Director Shawna Schafer.
The employees rates have not gone up since 2013.
• Approved a tree trimmers license for Total Tree Service from Garfield. The owner is Matt Alexander.
• Heard an update on the runway improvement project at the Great Bend Municipal Airport from airport Manager Martin Miller.
• Approved abatements at: 219 Fruit St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Maribel Sanchez Gonzalez; 1202 Morton St., accumulation of refuse, owned by the Troy A. Schroeder Revocable Trust; 401 Cedar St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Tisha and Mario Garcia; and 1001 8th St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Candelario and Ella Rubio.

Interim Great Bend City Administrator George Kolb told the City Council Monday night that he and the Police Chief Selection Committee has been meeting regularly and, among other things has prepared a “target” or “profile” of what the city is looking for in its next chief who will replace the resigned Clifton Couch.
This committee includes Mayor Mike Allison, council members Vicki Berryman and Joel Jackson, City Attorney Bob Suelter, Community Coordinator Christina Hayes, City Clerk Shawna Schafer, Public Lands Director Scott Keeler and Public Works Director Charlie Suchy. This committee is also reviewing the proposals for the police department compensation and operations study.
“The second part of the committee’s charge was to do a compensation and operations study,” Kolb said. The panel decided to divide this into two parts and tackle them separately.
“The comp study we are actually putting on hold,” Kolb said. “We believe there are some issues with the entire city salary schedule. We need to take a look at that.”
Kolb said they need to do a survey and see if other departments need to be added to it. When other departments learned about the wage study, they expressed concerns as well.
First, “this will determine how far out of line we are, if indeed we are out of line,” he said. After that, the committee will determine the next steps.
Kolb said members hope to get a new human resources director on board to help with this process.
“The operations study, on the other hand, we are still discussing,” he said. “We are considering whether we should do it now or with the new police chief, but I think it should be done as kind of a check and balance to see if they are in line with present day police practices.”
He said they are looking for proposals to conduct this portion of the study. “We will get back with you later as to what our recommendations are.”
As of now, “we are preparing for interviews of internal candidates,” Kolb said. The committee decided to look within the department first before looking beyond.
“Since we have a profile, we know what we are looking for, we can do a fair evaluation internally to see if anyone meets that profile,” he said. After the interviews, the committee will evaluate all the applicants to see if they should recommend hiring from within or look elsewhere.
As a side note, Kolb said earlier this year, police Captain Bob Robinson retired and Couch opted not to fill that position. “I have reexamined that and I think that position should be filled.”
Kolb will name an interim captain, and leave it to the new chief to fill permanently. Kolb hopes to make this decision later this week.

What is the city looking
for in a police chief?
Below is the “profile” of what the city is looking for in a police chief:
Job Summary:
Under the general supervision of the City Administrator, oversees and performs a variety of responsibilities related to the administration and supervision of the Great Bend Police Department.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Generally, the police chief directs all activities of the police department and some surrounding areas within Barton County. It is the Chiefs responsibility to ensure the implementation of goals, objectives, policies, procedures, and professional standards for the department. The police chief partakes in the planning covering the use of resources, coordinating activities, and ensuring high quality service. The police chief is responsible for the conduct of the officers, making sure that everyone understands their obligations and carries them out according to established professional standards.
Must demonstrate compassion for the people he works with and able to demonstrate loyalty to the City, the profession and community. The police chief must equitably and justly, without taking sides, resolve internal conflicts. The Police Chief is the department’s chief spokesperson. It is imperative that the Chief be the link between the community and the department and have the requisite skills to communicate succinctly and effectively with the public, City Administrator, City Council, and City staff. The Police Chief must have intimate knowledge of the day to day operations of a police department.
Knowing that the department engages in routine operations, the Chief must lead the department in allocating resources to address critical crime issues within the community. Must have a working knowledge and competency in laws affecting the department’s personnel and operations.
Qualifications:
In addition to the qualifications listed in the attached job description, the ideal candidate will be compassionate, team oriented, competent, knowledgeable of law and police operations, believes in and establishes professional standards for all police personnel, courageous, honest, a people person able to build bridges both within the department and the community. Must be goal oriented, resourceful, have good communication skills and demonstrate leadership abilities.
Education and Training:
The preferred candidate will have a minimum bachelor’s degree in police sciences or related field and 10 years’ experience in police operations with a minimum of five years’ experience in operations management. Successful candidate must be LEAP certified. A unique combination of education and experience will be considered. Residency is required within six months of appointment.