Hastings officials narrowed down a list of finalists for the position of Hastings Police Department's Chief of Police.
The rigorous hiring process brings them closer to finding the best fit candidate. Nearly two months since former Chief Larry Thoren retired, the Hastings Civil Service Commission narrowed the field of 27 applicants down to four.
The four finalists are: Two in-house candidates, Captains Gene Boner and Adam Story, one Grand Island PD Captain, Peter Kortum, and one out-of-state candidate Captain B. J. Wilkinson from Litchfield, Ill.
Hastings City Administrator, Joe Patterson, said "If we look for someone that comes from the
Midwest culture…works best for this community, so I think the civil service commission did a
good job at narrowing down from 27 to four and now the ball is at our court."
Patterson will organize an interview committee to meet with each individual candidate. The committee will include at least one member from the police foundation, and at least one school official representative, the mayor, and the administrator.
Officials said they're looking for someone to pick up where Thoren left off.
"Chief Thoren brought some new ideas to our police department," said Patterson. "I think there was some resistance initially, because it was change, but I think through time people embraced those changes... And he was very open in why he felt the way he felt."
Hastings officials want to fill the position soon, but said they won't rush the process.
Officials plan to move forward with individual interviews in October, and they will make recommendations to the city council toward the end of October. Officials dates have not been announced.