The search for the next Hastings Police Chief started with 27 candidates and was narrowed down to just four. The last two finalists have now met with the interview panel.
Captain Pete Kortum of the Grand Island Police Department is no stranger to the Tri-Cities. He's been with GIPD since 1974.
Kortum said his policing experiences have prepared him for the role. "I've been very fortunate, I've been given a lot of opportunities in a lot of different community efforts. I've had the opportunities to be involved in the school district in Grand Island, and I recognized how important those relationships are."
The final candidate that was interviewed is an internal candidate, Captain Gene Boner who has been with Hastings PD for 23 years. The captain said he wants to keep the status quo of the strong foundation set by former chief Larry Thoren.
Boner said "[Larry Thoren is a man] of good strong values and morals, so that was one of the reasons he got along so well with the police department. He instilled that very much in the day to day business of what we do - I think it's very easy to carry on with that."
The panel of seven selected by the mayor include Hastings and Papillion city administrators, two council members, the director of a behavioral service organization, and a Hastings school principal.
That panel now must discuss the qualifications of all four candidates and then Joe Patterson, city administrator, will make his recommendation to Hastings Mayor Vern Powers.
Powers will present that decision for city council approval as one of the final steps in appointing a police chief.